Making the decision to move your parent into a retirement home can be difficult. You want the best for your loved one. You want them to be able to retain their independence for as long as possible. You want them to be able to stay in their home, where they’re comfortable.
However, there comes a time when assisted living must be considered for the health and happiness of your loved one.
Not sure if it’s the right time to consider a retirement residence? Here are five signs that indicate it’s time to start looking at your options and having that difficult conversation with your parent.
1. Their Independence Is Waning
Seniors can often age in place for many years. If they can adequately take care of themselves and the household, there’s little reason to move them into a retirement home.
However, if you’ve noticed your parent is having difficulty managing daily tasks, it might be time to consider assisted living.
Some tasks to consider include:
- Cooking nutritious meals
- Accessing the telephone in case of emergencies
- Medication management
- Personal hygiene
- Managing finances
- Day trips
2. You’re Drained
Caring for an aging loved one is hard work. It’s time-consuming. It’s draining. As their level of independence starts to diminish, you may find yourself taking on more responsibility on your parent’s behalf, such as going over every day to cook dinner, help them bathe, take them to doctor’s appointments, clean the house, and take care of their pets.
These responsibilities, on top of your own, can start to take their toll on you physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s OK to admit you’re exhausted. Caregiver burnout is real.
If you’re having difficulty giving your parent the constant care, attention, and assistance they need, it might be time to start researching nursing homes.
3. It’s Become Dangerous
A fall can have serious repercussions. Driving might get more difficult and dangerous as your parent gets older. Your parent might forget to turn off the stove. You might worry they’ll wander off in the middle of the night. A medical scare might make you realize it’s time for around-the-clock care.
If you believe your parent needs more supervision than you’re able to offer, it’s likely time for assisted living. Your parent’s safety and health are your top priorities, and a retirement home can offer the care needed to keep them safe.
4. Your Loved One Is Isolated
You may visit your parent as often as you can, but is it enough? Think about your loved one’s social calendar. Do they have active friendships they can count on? Do they take part in social activities in the community, such as a walking club or bingo night? Do they leave the house regularly?
Many seniors who live alone become depressed and isolated. You do your best, but you can’t be there every minute or even every day. If loneliness is taking a toll on your parent’s mental health, a retirement home could be a good option. There, they’ll meet new people, create new friendships, and get to take part in many activities that will keep them active, alert, and engaged.
5. Their Health Is Declining
Caring for a sick parent is difficult for any caregiver. It can be especially hard when their health starts to deteriorate. You’re not a medical professional; you might not know what to do if your parent starts to show signs of dementia, if they begin to look frailer, if they’re losing weight, or if they are diagnosed with new illnesses you don’t know how to manage on your own.
If this is the case, a retirement residence might be the best option for keeping your loved one healthy.