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When a child is growing up, it is parents who must care for them and ensure their well-being is protected. However, when parents become elderly, the relationship is reversed. Aging is inevitable and it is important to be prepared.
The Need For Senior Living
If you are the child of parents who are deep into their senior years, it is incumbent on you to know the signs your aging parents can no longer live on their own. At some point, it may become necessary for your parents to move into assisted living.
Unfortunately, aging individuals are not always able to recognize when they are in need of help. Some may resist facing up to reality. Losing independence, after all, is extremely difficult for anyone.
This means that it is important to remain aware of indicators that your parents may need assisted living. Here are the ten major signs of mental and physical decline you must watch out for.
Loss of Mobility
Loss of mobility means a loss of independence. It's a sad reality that an older adult who cannot move around as they once did is probably no longer fully capable of caring for themselves.
While falls can happen at any age, they become both more likely and more harmful at an advanced age. Falls can result in broken bones that precipitate a steep physical decline. Parents prone to falls should live in a place where help is always at hand.
As an older person becomes less physically capable, it may become steadily harder for them to maintain social connections. Isolation is often the result.
While mental health issues might not be commonly associated with aging, depression and other mental disorders often occur as a senior grows older. Other signs of decline, such as isolation and loss of physical ability, can themselves contribute to depression.
Anger and Aggression
Cognitive impairment can manifest in many ways, including emotionally. Older parents may no longer seem like their old selves, and may exhibit surprising signs of anger or aggression.
Becoming Lost or Disoriented
As cognitive decline increases, a senior's basic ability to navigate their world may falter. They may become lost, confused, or disoriented easily. These problems greatly reduce an individual's ability to take care of themselves.
One of the most common cognitive effects of aging is a decline in memory. While a slight drop-off in memory skills might not have significant consequences, it is still a major warning sign of what is to come.
Not Remembering To Take Medications
This, of course, is a very serious sign that your aging mother or father can longer be relied on to care for themselves. Failing to take vital medications can have dire consequences. If this happens more than once or twice, it's almost certainly time for assisted living.
As an older adult ages, they may become less and less capable of even completing such basic tasks as bathing, shaving, and other elements of hygiene. This is a strong sign they should no longer be living on their own.
Both weight loss and weight gain can be caused by aging. Weight loss or gain can contribute to mental and physical decline as well. Seniors whose health is worsening are less likely to be capable of caring for themselves.
Even if your parents are still in good mental and physical shape, it still makes sense to start looking at assisted living options. Getting ready early for an important change always makes sense. When the time does come for your parents to move to assisted living, you want to be prepared so that the move can be taken care of as smoothly as possible.