Change is a difficult thing for many people, especially when it comes to watching loved ones age. While it might be easier to deny the evident shifts, it’s important for you to be honest and aware of the realities of where your aging loved one. Their health and safety in some ways depends on your ability to gently but realistically see where they’re at and help them see it, too, and make the necessary life adjustments. Determining it’s time to find senior housing is one of the most important decisions. Here are a few signs it’s time to help the senior you care about find a safer housing option:
- Recent medical diagnosis. While not always indicative that a senior citizen needs assistance, there are times when conditions will necessitate daily assistance.
- Inconsistent nutrition. Is your loved one preparing nutritious meals? Keep an eye on their weight and occasionally check the expiration date on food in the pantry.
- Declining hygiene. Unfortunately, one sign of aging is poor hygiene as many tasks such as bathing and laundry are simply forgotten or become more and more difficult.
- Forgotten tasks. Forgetfulness is simply part of aging, but it can have devastating consequences. Be attentive to how often things are forgotten, and what type of tasks are falling through the cracks.
- Medication mistakes. Age tends to be accompanied by an increase in prescriptions. Errors can be fatal and any concern over this should not be overlooked.
- Unpaid bills. Let’s be honest – staying on top of finances can be challenging for the best of us! Keep an eye out for unpaid bill notices or a lapse in services.
- Leaving doors and windows unlocked. Hopefully your loved one lives in a safe neighborhood, but even at that, it’s important to keep doors and windows locked. Habitually forgetting to do simple safety tips like this could be a sign it’s time to find senior housing options.
- Mental fogginess. Aside from memory issues, elderly people can reach a point of becoming easily confused or deceived. This can make them a target for scammers looking for an easy target.
- Unkempt house/yard. Everyone has different standards of cleanliness, but a untidy house can be a safety hazard for your loved one (tripping on items, not being able to find things, or even vermin taking up residence).
One or two of the signs on this list alone may not be a reason to find senior housing, but the more signs your loved one displays, the more likely it is that it’s time to look into your options. As painful as it is realizing someone you love is aging, you are going to be more aware of the changes than they are. The conversations may not be easy, but they are important. If you would like more information on senior housing options, I would be happy to help.