It’s not uncommon for children to resist the idea of their parents health and mental capacity declining. After all, we’ve always looked to our parents for guidance and support, and they’ve been strong and resilient for as long as we can remember.
But there comes a time when we must set aside our own emotions and recognize the signs of aging. Many times, these signs indicate that our parents might need to enter an assisted living facility. If you are not sure what to look for, the following list can help you decide if your loved one is declining, and may need more help with daily tasks.
- Does your parent look as if they are losing weight; are there signs that he or she may not be preparing their own meals? These signs could be food in the fridge that has gone bad, no sign of dishes being used, etc.
- Are there bruises and other marks on your loved one that may indicate they are falling frequently? Keep in mind that a parent may not be forthright about the cause of the marks because they do not want to worry you.
- Are there signs that your loved one is not changing their clothes? Do they frequently have the same clothes on when you visit?
- Do you get calls in the middle of the night from your loved one because they are afraid, or hearing strange noises?
- Look at the house and yard with fresh eyes, do you see the same place you did when they were younger, or is the house and yard appear to be neglected?
- Take a moment to look at your parent in an unbiased way. Do you see the same person you did a few years ago, or do they appear frail?
- Do you find that you have to complete more tasks for your parent’s upkeep than you realized?
If the answer is yes to anymore than one or two of these questions, it is time to seriously start considering an assisted living arrangement for your loved one. Talk to your siblings, to your relatives and to your estate planning attorney to decide how best to proceed.