One of the hardest things for an adult child to go through is facing the reality that your parent needs to move out of the family home and into an assisted living community. If your mom or dad is unable to handle basic daily tasks, is in need of around-the-clock care, or if he or she has a condition like Alzheimer’s and should never be left alone for any reason, then it’s time to consider a move to an assisted living community.
Signs Your Parent Needs Assisted Living
It’s important to understand when your parent needs to move to an assisted living community. He or she probably won’t bring it up on his or her own, so it is up to you to pay attention when you visit.
Here are some signs to look for:
- Lack of personal hygiene. Start by observing your parent’s physical appearance. You may notice that he or she hasn’t been showering or that his or her clothing is soiled. These may be signs that he or she is starting to lose the ability to practice personal hygiene, is no longer capable of doing it alone, or simply is no longer taking pride in doing so.
- A messy or disorganized house. A common sign that your parent could benefit from a move to assisted living is a house in disarray. This is often a sign that he or she is no longer physically capable of cleaning the house, doing laundry, and washing dishes. Like personal hygiene, it may also be a sign that he or she is no longer taking pride in keeping the house tidy. In a maintenance-free senior living community, she won’t be responsible for these tasks anymore.
- Wandering. If your parent is wandering off, no doubt you are concerned for your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. Your mom or dad could become lost and be placed in a dangerous situation. When moving into an assisted living community, he or she can still maintain an independent lifestyle, with safeguards in place.
- Being verbally or physically aggressive. Behavioral and mood changes, such as suddenly becoming agitated, irritable, or even aggressive, are also signs you should not ignore.
- Financial problems. If you visit your parent and see a stack of past-due bills or worse, that utilities have been shut off, then your loved one is probably struggling financially or is simply unable to keep up with the bill-paying task. Your mom or dad might do better paying just one monthly bill at an assisted living housing community instead of trying to keep up with a stack of bills that comes with running a household.
Tips For Convincing Mom Or Dad To Move Into An Assisted Living Community
Once you know that it is time for your parent to move to an assisted living community, you’ll then need to have the discussion together.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Test the waters. Instead of jumping right in, begin by asking questions to test the waters. For instance, you could ask how your mom is doing with housework or if your dad has ever thought about selling his home.
- Offer immediate help. Make sure your parent knows you'll be there for them every step of the way, from finding a location to packing and moving their possessions and visits them often.
- Focus on the benefits. Keep reminding your dad about the reasons why he'll be happier in his new home. Don’t bring up his medical issues or disabilities. Remind your mom that she will be able to socialize with others her age, have transportation, life-enriching activities to engage in, and various other amenities to take advantage of.
It might take some careful communication to convince your parent or grandparent that it is time to move, but following these tips should help.