It’s not an unusual scenario. For any son or daughter of a senior parent living alone, you’re always going to wonder if they are currently doing okay, or when that day comes when the realization hits, that they aren’t. If you don’t get to see them as often as you’d like, with every phone call you always voice concerns you have with their wellbeing.
“Everything is going good, I’m doing just fine. Don’t worry about me.”
But with the rising health issues and the possibility for something dangerous to happen, you may still be at unease. Here are ways to help recognize if your senior parent is truly doing okay on their own, or if they need to transition to a senior living community.
Loneliness and Signs of Isolation
Some of us are naturally introverted or shy, but social interaction is still a major component of happy mental health, no matter what age we are. Seniors are more prone to depression as a result of feeling lonely. A good way to find out how your loved one is doing in this aspect is to ask who they’ve seen lately or what their schedule has been like.
This way, you get a clear insight into if they are really making an effort to get out and meet people. A lack of interest in engaging with others outside of their home is not a great sign. Senior living communities provide a place for people to interact with each other, by simply just stepping out of their door.
Along with being able to make new friends right outside their door, your senior loved one could benefit from the transportation options that senior living communities offer. There comes a time when even the best driver in the family will struggle more than usual. When running for groceries, making doctor’s appointments, and driving to get other errands done becomes more of a risk, than it may be an indicator that they should no longer be living independently.
Nutrition and Preparing Meals
Your mom was always a world-class chef in your family. You were raised on some of the best homemade recipes, made from the heart. As we age, it is natural to simplify these recipes to a new degree, but if you begin to notice sudden weight loss in your loved one, it is a clear sign of either meals being missed, or failing to properly fuel their bodies with the nutrients they really need.
The famous apple pie is a tradition that your family values. But when a familiar recipe suddenly becomes stranger, it is not only a sign of a senior losing independence, it can also be a sign of memory loss. It is important to keep in mind that deeper conditions need to be properly diagnosed by a physician, but it’s never a bad idea to get any concerns with cognitive decline a proper exam.
The Fall Risk
Your dad was a former naval lieutenant, Mr. Fix It and an overall certified tough guy. He is centered on being able to take care of himself, because he lived a large life that was surrounded by serving and helping others.
Even if this isn’t your scenario, it’s a common thread for most seniors wanting to maintain their independence and not be showing you the real story. Falls are a clear sign of lacking mobility and balance. One fall is enough to spur real concern that was not previously there.
While there are a number of 911 call assisting devices on the market, it is always a better scenario to have help close by at all times if a fall does occur. Senior living communities are not only places with safety being monitored closely, but built to be easier for those with limited mobility to navigate in general.
Private renovations can be done to homes in order to modify the safeness of your loved one’s home, but that still leaves out the extra set of eyes when you can’t be there.
How to Intervene and Start the Discussion
Being clear to your senior loved one that maintaining their independence is no longer ideal, isn’t always an easy conversation. The chance of them showing a hesitancy towards the idea is completely justified and understandable. By presenting them the true benefits of assisted living in a vibrant senior living community, they can hopefully be more open to it.
At The Kensington, we aim to provide a comfortable environment in our community. Every resident is treated like family, with care that is not only there to suit their needs, but make them feel at home. From the socially engaging activities calendar we have jam-packed every month, to a diverse and delicious dining menu, we can provide your loved one with the nutrition and socialization they need. When they step through our doors, the concerns of independence are put to rest, so they can live each day happy and healthy.
Friends and family are encouraged to visit them as often as they can. While you are away though, you can be rest assured that we promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own. If you think your senior loved one’s independence is possibly in question, look no further. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our assisted living communities.