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Four Signs Your Loved One Might Need Assisted Living



You may be noticing a recent trend of unsettling events that have made you start to question your parents' or loved one's ability to properly care for themselves, or at least live by themselves. It's a very difficult thing to face, to see a loved one begin to decline with age. We all want our parents to remain as independent for as long as possible, but at some point, we can no longer ignore obvious signs they need help. You've probably noticed some red flags lately. Backing into someone at the store, skipping doctors visits, forgetting to take medications, or neglecting common self-care (odd bumps and bruises, noticeable weight loss, and more) or care for a pet.

Forgetting To Care for Themselves and Others

Ignoring small issues of self-care can turn into larger issues down the line. But don't get yourself into a panic. A loved one seemingly forgetting to do common necessary tasks, doesn't mean they have dementia. It really could just mean that they are struggling to accomplish their normal routine. Ask your loved one when is the last time they took a shower or laundered their clothes. Some children or more able-bodied relatives opt for the caregiver route, where they become their loved one's primary caregiver. Many love it and are successful but this can take a toll even on the best of us.

Odd and More Frequent Fender Benders

Backing into something on a rare occasion can happen to anyone at any driving age or skill. But if your loved one is making driving decisions that they would have never made even just a few years ago, this can be a sign they some help navigating their independence, for their sake and for those they could and will encounter on the road or in a grocery store parking lot. Are their reflexes slowing? Is their hearing declining and their eyesight fading? Sometimes your loved one may notice their driving mishap and try to hide it from you but they may also not notice. A good indicator would be to pay attention to their vehicle. If they haven't alerted you to anything and you notice scratches or dents that weren't there the last time you saw them, it may be time for a conversation.

Declination of Property

Was your dad always particular about keeping up with the lawn? Did your mom always keep her kitchen neat and tidy? We encourage you to make a list of common things you know your loved one did almost without fail, so you can begin to identify signs their health or age is taking a toll. Your parents may not ever allow themselves to admit they can no longer mow the lawn, take out the trash or clean house. So it's important they have someone there to help them walk through these simple yet difficult changes, so their quality of life doesn't also take a downturn.

Abnormal Memory Lapses

Losing keys may be more a sign of an absent-minded personality than an effect of age. Not being able to think of common words or complete sentences, or becoming increasingly forgetful about simple things are usually signs of a greater need for assistance. Before you brush off your loved one's most recent memory lapse, ask yourself, "How long did they spend looking for their keys, or when is the last time they remembered to feed the pet or let them out to go to the bathroom, or even shop for groceries?”

The first step isn't to try and talk your loved one into moving somewhere else. Chances are, you'll be met with opposition. Remember, they may still see themselves as fully independent. Start the conversation about ways to help them alleviate tasks that have become too burdensome. In these cases, more frequent checkups by you are usually a good idea. Based on your conversation with your elderly loved one, you can determine the level of severity of need for living assistance. Senior communities like Barton Hills Assisted Living in Austin TX, provide an all-inclusive approach to senior living and elderly care, where assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) are provided, and one's independence is preserved for as long as possible.

Posted by Barton Hills Elderly Care in Austin on 8/15/2016
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