Elders understandably value their independence. And, they are sometimes reluctant to move into a group living situation. Consequently, as their adult child, you may find yourself needing to initiate the conversation regarding your aging parent’s transition into an elder care setting. But, what are the indicators that they could use some help? Knowing what to look for can give you the assurance that you are doing the right thing by opening up a dialogue.
How to Know if Your Parent May Need to Consider a Living in a Skilled Nursing Community
Here are some changes that might signal it would be good for your parent to be in an elder care environment:
- Unsteady gait or falls. When you visit your parent, observe how they are navigating in their home. If they seem unsteady or hesitant as they move about, that can be a red flag. Also, if they’ve had one or more falls, there is every reason to believe they may fall again. Living with others would mean help is always available.
- Weight gain or loss. If an elder gains or loses weight unexpectedly, this can be a sign of multiple things. For example, there could be problems with their nutrition or a trend toward being more sedentary. There may also be a medication issue. All of these can be properly addressed in a group living environment.
- Changes in social habits. Has your parent cut back on socializing or lost interest in their favorite activities? If so, this can be an indicator that the easier and more abundant interactions in an elder care setting would be helpful.
- Changes in personal hygiene. If you notice that your parent is not sticking with their typical bathing and grooming routines, this should get your attention.
- Decrease in cleanliness around the home? Is their home less clean and tidy than you are used to? Does it seem as though household chores are not being completed?
If one or more of the above indicators is present, it may be a good idea to start a conversation about life transitions. This should include the many benefits of moving to an elder care setting. It can be reassuring to your parent to let them know early on that there are many options today beyond the traditional nursing home. Many elders have a negative opinion of that kind of environment.
A New Approach to Elder Care
At Green House Homes, we have a different philosophy on elder care. We believe, and know from experience, that seniors thrive in settings where they are empowered and relied upon to be contributing members of a team that keeps a real home operating smoothly. So, the elders who live here would be the first to tell you that our approach has given them a renewed sense of purpose. It has also allowed them to make strong connections with their fellow seniors and caregivers.
January/10/2018 | News