By Carol Marak
Helping an aging loved one decide to move from their home into a senior living facility can be difficult, especially if they are leaving a home of 20 plus years. I remember when my Dad began the move process to an assisted living community from his home of 54 plus years, it was hard on him..
We knew that Dad was feeling isolated since Mom’s passing but we were unaware of his immobility issues and his general loss of interest in life. He was eating less at mealtimes and losing weight. Until he began falling frequently and losing up to 7 pounds, our remedy was to visit more often to check on him but that solution was futile. He was lonely and our weekend visits were not helping him much. The weeks were too long for him.
If you are concerned about an aging relative’s safety and independence at home, consider these few questions to discern whether a move is appropriate:
How active is your family member? Are they getting plenty of exercise or just sitting at home all day? Are they stable or have they had a fall?
What are their eating habits like? Are they preparing and eating nutritious meals? Or do you find their cupboards stocked with unhealthy snacks instead? Is the refrigerator filled with spoiled food?
Are they bathing? Do they have on the same clothes they had on since your last visit? Are they able to use the washing machine?
Is your parent taking medication properly? Do you find prescriptions scattered around the house?
Is the home organized and neat? Is the yard over-grown?
Are they able to operate appliances safely? Do they remember to turn the stove or coffee maker off when they finish cooking?
Are they still driving and should they be? Do they have additional means of transportation?
Do you see unpaid bills lying around?
What is their social life like? Do they have friends, or are they isolated from others most of the time?
When you really look at your parent, do you see a happy and vibrant person? Or do you see someone who needs help with activities of daily living?
Older adults do not want to move from home. However, it maybe the best option to keep them safe and healthy.
To determine if they should move, take a good look at the present housing situation, health status and medical needs. The bonus of moving is your loved one will enjoy a safe, social lifestyle with supportive services and care, and you will have peace of mind!
Carol Marak is founder of Carebuzz.com (http://carebuzz.com), a platform of websites targeting local senior care help for family caregivers and the aging senior they care for. Carol is a former caregiver for her aging parents. She experienced the frustrations of searching for local elder care help while living at a distance from her loved ones. That’s why she created Carebuzz. She plans to grow the city sites to be a leading local resource for caregivers.