Mom and Dad want to stay in the house. They raised their children there, made their life there, but independent living doesn’t last forever.
As your parents’ physical abilities decline, they will eventually reach a point where they can no longer run a household. How do you know where that point is?
Many physical limitations can be overcome with proper help. Lawn service, maid service, grocery delivery, and other services make life easier for many adults with limited time or physical abilities.
If a parent’s physical health, mental health, or social health is severely compromised, it can be dangerous for them to live on their own.
Compromises in physical health include recent falls, rapid weight loss or weight gain, or the inability to complete the activities of daily living — dressing, bathing, eating. It also includes declining cognitive health due to dementia.
Mental health impairment often manifests as loneliness and depression. Depression puts seniors at an increased risk of death from illness and suicide.
Impaired social health is also dangerous. People who can’t or won’t drive, who have difficulty walking or navigating stairs or for whatever reason don’t leave the house for extended periods are at risk of social isolation. Prolonged social isolation is as dangerous to older people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
If your parents are having difficulty in any of those areas, it might be a good time to look deeper at whether their current living arrangement is sufficient to meet their needs.
Sometimes you can have a feeling that all isn’t as it should be, but you want specific proof before you broach such a conversation. Fortunately, you can observe a lot just by walking around the house — if you know where to look.
To learn more about how to help your parents find the right living environment to maximize their quality of life and well-being, download Highgate’s free eBook Signs It’s Time to Start the Search for Assisted Living.