As your parents get older, you may begin to notice signs that they are no longer able to care for themselves. While this is not an easy topic to approach, it will be helpful for your future if you are able to talk candidly with your parents about their needs, wants and desires for their future. While having deficits can be a natural part of aging, knowing when it is no longer safe to live at home alone is essential. Looking for signs and having conversations along the way will help make the decision to move to an assisted living facility easier when it is time.
Mom Has Been Forgetful, Burning Meals
One of the first signs you may notice of a parent who is getting forgetful is that they are having trouble cooking. Being able to cook a meal successfully involves timing and paying attention to when the meal is completed. You may notice that your mom has burned pans or that her stove does not appear to be used. If you take her grocery shopping, you may notice that she only purchases food that she can heat up in the microwave. It's possible that your mom has even started a small fire while she was cooking.
If you do not believe that your mom is safe cooking anymore, this can be remedied by unplugging the stove and providing her with meals that she can heat up daily. Burning meals does not mean your mother has to leave her home, but it may mean that she should no longer cook without supervision.
Dad Got Lost While Driving Home from the Store
A sure sign that dad is having trouble with confusion is if he starts getting lost on small trips to the store. Your dad may hide this fact from you for awhile, but eventually he will have enough trouble that it will become known to you. If your dad is getting lost while driving, it may be time that he stops taking the car out. While this will be a very difficult discussion, it will be an important discussion to have.
It is time to move to an assisted living facility when:
- Mom or dad gets lost often and is terrified of getting lost again.
- Your parent has been falling frequently and keeps getting injured.
- You can no longer keep your parent safe at home.
When you talk with your parent about the potential need for assisted living in their future, it may be easier to make the transition when the time comes.