When is it time to move? It’s a difficult question many elders and their adult children face as their parents age. While many seniors appear happy and healthy in their homes, there may be signs that moving to a senior living community may be right for them. It may even improve their quality of life!
When you visit your parents at home, there are several things to look for that may indicate it is time to move to a senior living community. How does the house and yard look? Are your loved ones keeping up with day-to-day chores, cleaning, and maintenance? Is the yard cut? Are the dishes washed? These are indications that living at home may be starting to be too much for them. Next, check out the pantry and refrigerator. Are they eating often and enough? Do they have ample, healthy food on hand for easy, nutritious meals? Are there expired foods in the fridge? Cooking may be something your loved one is not interested in doing anymore. This is a great opportunity to discuss the convenience of dining at a senior living community and may be enough to pique their interest.
Finally, and maybe most critically, look for safety and security concerns. Are there too many stairs in their home for them to navigate? Is their bathroom updated with safety bars or a zero-threshold shower? Can they easily move between bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces? Are there rooms in their home that they don’t use very often or at all? They may be attached to their home, and you may have fond memories as well, but if the space is no longer safe or easy for them to live in, you may want to consider a more convenient home.
How mobile is your parent or loved one? Can they still easily navigate their surroundings? Are they relying on furniture to help them move around? Mobility is critical for seniors. If they are starting to have difficulty moving about their home easily, this is cause for concern. Does your loved one have a history of falls or a fear of falling? Have they been in the hospital, emergency room, or had a recent surgery?
How about their medications? Do they remember to take their medications at the right time? Senior living communities allow peace of mind for seniors, especially around concerns for their physical well-being.
But what about their mental well-being? Do they still have friends nearby? Are they involved in social activities outside the home? Do they have safe, reliable transportation to the grocery store, church, or other activities? Socialization is key to maintaining a senior’s mental well-being. Whether it's time with friends or regular visits from family, your loved one craves this attention and socialization. They may thrive in a senior living community!
It’s difficult to consider that your parent or loved one may be suffering from mental decline caused by a degenerative neurological condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s. But it is important to look for signs of these conditions early and address them as soon as possible.
Look for signs of short-term memory loss. Things such as missing their medication, doctor appointments, social engagements, birthdays, or other things they would normally recall. Are they misplacing items, like their phone, television remote, magazines, or books? Are they having difficulty communicating their needs or wants? Are they wandering? Are they experiencing Sundowning, where they confuse day and night? These are all signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s and should be addressed early.
A senior living community allows them to age in place. They can easily move from independent living to assisted living to memory care when space allows. This ensures all of their needs are met without the disruption of multiple moves.
If you have a senior in your life you love, download the PDF “When Is It Time To Move” and refer to it the next time you visit. It could change their life for the better!