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Signs & Symptoms

Signs it's time for your loved one to consider senior living.

As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly important to pay attention to their physical and emotional well-being. For many adult children, recognizing the signs that an aging parent may need additional support can be a challenging but necessary task. Keep these signs and symptoms in mind that may indicate it is time to start the conversation about senior living options for a better future.

Two friends walking with walkers.

Physical Changes

Take a closer look at your parent's physical health. Weight loss or gain, difficulty walking or staying balanced, bruises from falls, and dark circles under the eyes indicating lack of sleep are all potential red flags. If you observe late starts to the day, excessive napping, or early bedtimes, these could be signs of underlying health issues. In such cases, it's crucial to contact their primary care doctor to discuss potential medical care or medication side effects.

A pile of dishes on the counter.

Living Environment

The state of your parent's home can provide valuable insights into their ability to manage daily tasks. Unfinished home repairs, neglected landscaping, and a lack of housekeeping may indicate that their living environment has become too burdensome. Piles of unopened mail can also signal a disregard for financial commitments. These signs collectively suggest that the current living situation may no longer be suitable for your aging parent.

A person smelling flowers.

Well-being

Changes in behavior and daily routines are significant indicators of your parent's well-being. An empty cupboard could mean they've stopped preparing meals or shopping for groceries. Signs of isolation, such as loneliness and boredom, may become evident, as well as a general lack of interest in activities. An unkempt appearance could indicate difficulties in completing simple tasks like grooming or doing laundry.

Two people looking through a photo album.

Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is a concerning sign that should not be ignored. While occasional lapses in memory are normal, persistent forgetfulness, especially regarding daily tasks like using the telephone or finding their way home, could indicate a more serious issue, such as Alzheimer's disease. It's essential to pay attention to these signs and seek medical advice if necessary.

What to Do

If you notice these signs in your aging parent, it's crucial to gather your siblings, close family friends, and possibly clergy to formulate a plan. Approaching your parent with a united front demonstrates that your primary concern is their well-being. When initiating the conversation, be non-threatening, respectful, and non-judgmental, acknowledging that they may have difficulty accepting their changing needs. Position the discussion as an exploratory and educational exercise to encourage openness and collaboration.

Accepting that our loved ones are getting older is never easy, but addressing their evolving needs with the right guidance and resources is crucial. By recognizing the signs and approaching the conversation with empathy and understanding, you can work together to ensure your aging parent receives the care and support they need well into the future. If you're seeking resources and support, consider visiting watermarkcommunities.com to find a senior living community near you that offers support groups and informative sessions. With the right approach, you can navigate this challenging transition with compassion and care.

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