Watching our parents age and struggle with everything that can come along with the aging process can be difficult. It can be emotional, nerve-wracking, and anxiety-inducing. Sometimes, the needs of an aging parent may exceed the level of care that family and loved ones can provide. When this happens, it is likely time to move that parent to a long-term care facility. Recognizing the signs for when this major move may be necessary, however, can be tricky to spot. Here, we will go over some of the signs your parent may need to move to long-term care for you to be on the lookout for. Noticing these signs can be an important part of helping to ensure your parent is always safe and receiving the necessary level of care.
Signs Your Parent May Need to Move to Long-Term Care
In some cases, a parent’s need for long-term care may be more obvious. For instance, it is a fairly common situation for an aging parent to sustain a debilitating hip injury in a fall (frequent falling and mobility issues, in general, can signal a parent’s need for long-term care). Considering the medical and mobility needs a parent in this position may require indefinitely, long-term care can be a sensible option. It also may be the case that your aging parent’s physician makes the explicit recommendation for long-term care. Other times, however, the signs may be subtle and appear gradually.
Safety at home is a priority for all, aging parents included. Be on the lookout for things like your parent forgetting to turn off the stove or locking the front door. While we all have our memory lapse moments, a pattern of these things should be noted as they can create major safety issues. Memory struggles can also be dangerous if your parent continually forgets to take medication.
Other signs it may be time for a parent to move to a long-term care facility involve signs that your parent is not able to properly care for himself or herself. For instance, has your parent had a notable amount of weight gain or loss? This can be a sign that your parent is not eating right or not getting the proper amount of exercise. Being able to manage a healthy lifestyle can be critical and if your parent is struggling with this, it may be time for heightened care assistance.
If your parent is disheveled in appearance or exhibiting other signs of hygiene issues, this can also be a red flag that it may be time for a long-term care facility. Your parent may be scared to shower or bath alone because of the fall risk. A long-term care facility has the assistance necessary to help your parent be properly cared for and maintain proper hygiene practices safely. If your parent’s home is cluttered, dirty, and in general disarray, this may also be a sign that he or she is struggling with daily, routine activities and could use some more help.
There are also the social and emotional needs of your parent to consider. Does your parent seem lonely? Isolated? Has your parent seemed uninterested in hobbies and activities that once brought joy? If this is the case, your parent may be more comfortable in a long-term care facility where there are others around all the time. These facilities also often offer an extensive number of activities and hobbies for residents to participate in and connect with one another.
Elder Law Attorneys
Most of us will need long-term care at one point in our life. Now is the time to plan accordingly. Talk to the dedicated team of elder law attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez about long-term care and how you can plan to cover the costs of care. We have answers for you. Contact us today.