As adult children, it’s human nature to view our aging parents through rose-colored glasses. After all, they are the wise, strong-bodied individuals who nurtured us, then became our friends and confidants as we grew. Often, we see what our heart wants us to see; however, as our loved ones age, it’s imperative to their health and well-being to look through a more objective lens, to evaluate whether they are safe and secure in their current living environment. Is Mom able to manage the demands of the family home? Is Dad lonely? Are the activities of daily living too overwhelming?
When these questions begin to surface, families need to broach the subject of appropriate senior living scenarios. Sometimes it’s clear that a parent needs to make the move; chronic health conditions, falls, or memory loss are more obvious signs, but sometimes the indicators are more subtle. How can you know when it’s time to investigate other living options? The following are five telltale signs that a loved one may be ready:
1. Is dad becoming forgetful? Is he missing taking medications, not filling his prescriptions, or taking his medications inappropriately?
2. Is mom eating properly? Is she still preparing meals for herself, purging the fridge and shopping? Or, is she saying she has no appetite, doesn’t want to eat alone or showing signs of weight loss?
3. Is dad neglecting his appearance? Does he shower regularly, or is he wearing the same clothes and avoiding basic grooming? Is the house clean?
4. Are mom’s bills being paid on time? Are checks bouncing, or is she making multiple payments or missing payment deadlines?
5. Are your parents having social difficulties? Are they isolated, not seeing friends, and less active than they used to be? Do they complain of being too tired to do things?
While these are certainly not the only red flags, a large change in routine and attitude may signal it’s time for a conversation about a new living arrangement. Assisted Living communities can provide a life-enriching environment that promotes independence and freedom from the burdens of chores, meal preparation and home maintenance. Some communities, like Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences, offer care options like medication monitoring or assistance at mealtimes, giving families peace of mind knowing that their loved is living an independent lifestyle while receiving the extra personal care they might need when they need it. Being a member of an assisted living community can open up doors to new experiences and new friendships for your loved one; for many, it is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in their lives.
For information on Gurwin’s assisted living community, call Staci at (631) 715-8537.
For more information about the Gurwin Family of Healthcare Services, visit www.gurwin.org.