“Is this normal aging or should I be concerned?”
Have you asked yourself this question lately about your parent or loved one? It can be tough to distinguish normal signs of aging from those that indicate an older adult is struggling. While everyone’s situation is unique, there are common signs that can signal when it’s time to move to senior living.
Signs it may be time for senior living
Your loved one’s appearance has changed
Taking a closer look at your loved one’s appearance could provide some clues to struggles they’re experiencing. Is your mom thinner than she used to be? This could be a sign that she’s not eating enough or getting proper nutrition. Perhaps your dad, who has always preferred to be clean shaven, has stubble on his face more often than not. He may not be able to keep himself groomed as easily anymore.
Your loved one’s home and/or finances are not well maintained
If you visit your loved one’s home often, you’re bound to notice changes in its condition. Your mom always kept her home very tidy, but now, there’s laundry piling up and the kitchen is often a mess. Do you notice overdue bills piling up around the house? Or maybe your dad gets flustered about all the collection calls he’s been getting. These can all be signals that something is remiss.
You notice a significant change in your loved one’s mood or personality
Have there been marked changes in your loved one’s behavior or conversation? According to U.S. News & World Report, any of the following behaviors could signal an underlying change:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive fatigue
- Depression or anxiety
- Irritability or agitation
Your dad has always been talkative, but perhaps he’s been quiet whenever you try to talk to him. Does your mom always seem to be having a bad day? You know your loved one the best, and you know what their normal personality is – take notice of any consistent differences you observe.
Your loved one is often forgetful or confused
When it comes to being forgetful, you may wonder what is cause for concern and what isn’t. Forgetting where you left something from time to time is normal, but if your loved one is often confused or disoriented by simple tasks, it could be something more.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can include:
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Decreased or poor judgment
Of course, if you suspect your loved one is showing early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, contact their health care provider for next steps.
Your loved one can’t keep up with everyday tasks
Since youth, your mom or dad was probably used to doing many everyday tasks on their own – such as navigating around the house, taking care of their personal hygiene, and preparing and consuming meals (These are known as Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs). Have tasks like these become more difficult for your loved one to manage lately?
This can be a hard pill to swallow for your loved one, so being patient and kind with them is essential. Still, you need to consider what is best for both you and your loved one.
You’re worried about your loved one’s safety
If you’re still not sure whether it’s time for senior living, think about your answer this question: Do you worry about your loved one’s safety when you’re not there?
No matter how much you do to help your loved one, you cannot be there with them around-the-clock. Does this make you feel uneasy? Perhaps your dad has fallen before, and you worry he may fall again. Or your mom forgets basic kitchen safety when fixing meals, and you’re afraid she may leave the stovetop on. Are these the kind of chances you’re willing to take?
Senior living options at Abe’s Garden Community
If you decide that senior living is the best choice for your loved one, we hope you’ll include Abe’s Garden Community in your list of prospective senior living communities. Nestled in the Belle Meade suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, Abe’s Garden Community offers a full range of senior living options, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, home care, day care and more. Abe’s Garden Community is also distinguished as a leader in improving the quality of life for residents living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
See it for yourself. Contact us today to learn more about Abe’s Garden Community and to schedule your tour.