Potential Warning Signs – Dealing With Aging Parents.

People with aging parents may find it difficult to have a discussion about the prospect of transitioning them into a senior residence, particularly an assisted living community.  Many adult children should expect to face some resistance from their parents who may feel they are not ready to give up their independence and/or move from their home.  However, there are potential warning signs that one should consider while evaluating the particular circumstances. 

The following are some examples when having a discussion on the topic might be necessary:

  • The refrigerator is empty or filled with spoiled food, which may be a sign that food shopping and preparation are more difficult.
  • The parent has frequent bruises, which may be a sign of falling or mobility and balance problems.
  • The parent poses a safety risk by living alone (i.e., forgetting to turn off burners on the stove).
  • The parent wears the same clothing over and over again or neglects personal hygiene, which can be a sign that doing laundry and bathing are becoming more challenging.
  • The house isn’t as clean and tidy and is in disrepair, which may show that maintenance may becoming too much of a burden.
  • The parent forgets things (including doctor’s appointments and when to take medication) or dresses inappropriately for the weather, which may be due to memory loss or dementia.
  • The parent seems to be depressed or anxious, which may result from isolation and staying home alone, particularly if a spouse recently died.
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