What do I do if there are changes in my aging parent? It’s a question we hear more often than you’d think. Normal forgetfulness like misplacing keys or forgetting special dates is just part of aging and is usually nothing to worry about. However, over winter, you may have noticed more concerning changes in your aging parents, like not remembering how to use something or not understanding how something common in their household functions.
At SilverCrest Properties communities, we offer many senior care and living options, but we know that deciding to make a move, is not that easy. It can often feel like standing at the bottom of a mountain, figuring out how on earth you’re going to climb it. Understanding the processes, the options, how to overcome the guilt and have tough conversations with your parents and other family decision makers. It’s difficult to know when the right time is to make the move. Recognizing the fact that the time has come is vital to your loved one’s care, safety and well-being.
Of course, that process is about assessing your loved one’s needs, behavioral changes and diminishing abilities. It might surprise you to know it’s also about you.
Are you taking on stress as a caregiver?
New AARP research finds caregivers now top 53 million in U.S. More than 1 in 5 adults — a total of 53 million adult Americans — are now unpaid family caregivers, according to a new report from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). Caregiving can mean a lot more than having them in your home 24/7 or helping them with medications. It could also mean being on call to check on Mom and Dad, running errands for them, and being the one responsible for tough conversations about car keys, wills, finances, and final arrangements. It’s not an easy job. Caregiving can get overwhelming quickly, and your mental and physical health can suffer as a result.
So, here’s the million-dollar question… “When is the right time to move Mom or Dad into senior living?” First, you need to understand that every situation and every individual is unique. You may be able to handle things differently than a family than an adult child with the same circumstances. Pay attention to your health, wellness, as well as taking a pulse on how your parent can live the best quality life that they’re capable of living.
- Is the caregiving process getting increasingly difficult for you?
- Are you emotionally drained, exhausted or depressed much of the time?
- Are you physically able to get your loved one into the shower or to the bathroom?
- Is your own health failing?
- Are you finding yourself removed from other life activities or events because of caregiving?
- Is mom or dad living the best life that they are capable of living with me as their caregiver?
- What am I not willing to bend on or what is the final straw?
If any of those questions resonate with you or seems like something you’ve asked yourself, it is time to at least begin researching and navigating caregiver alternatives outside of your capabilities.
What to Watch for
Another facet of deciding when the time is right to move your parent is the change in their activities.
Here are some questions to ponder in what to look for:
- Are they eating well? What does the refrigerator look like?
- Are they getting out to social events with friends, church or get-togethers?
- Are they taking care of their home upkeep and routine maintenance?
- Have you taken away the car keys because of an incident or simply a lack of confidence in their safety to drive?
- Can they safely get to the bathroom at night?
- Are you worried about them if they are left alone for more than an hour?
- Have they fallen one or more times?
- Are they repeating stories over and over, more than usual?
- Are they keeping up with doctors’ appointments?
- Is their health and safety at risk?
If you answered these and three or more of those answers are concerning, or if you are feeling overwhelmed by caregiving, it’s time to seek help. SilverCrest Properties has been serving seniors and their families for over 30 years. We happy to be a support to you as you navigate options and resources.