No one wants to think about their loved ones getting older. Unfortunately, the physical and mental changes that come with age are often too important to sweep under the rug. Many adult children with elderly parents have to face these realities sooner than they would have liked. However, learning to recognize the signs that a parent may be in need of professional, long-term medical care can ensure everyone’s health and comfort. We’ll discuss three such signs in today’s post.
- Your loved one requires round-the-clock care
Devoting your life to caring for an ailing loved one is no easy feat. There’s a reason why caregiver burnout is so rampant. While wanting to care for your parent yourself is a selfless deed, it may actually not be within their (or your) best interests. A parent who requires 24-hour medical attention or help with major tasks (such as dressing, bathing, transportation, cleaning, eating, and more) may benefit from moving to a long term care facility. Not only will this allow you to spend more quality time together free of worry and frustration, but it will also ensure that your loved one receives the care they need, day or night.
- Your parent’s hygiene or nutrition are lacking
Approximately 52% of people ages 65 and older will need some type of long-term care services within their lifetime. In many cases, family members come to the realization that their loved one needs extra attention when they show signs that their personal hygiene or nutrition are starting to fall by the wayside. If your parent has a lack of food in their home, has been losing weight with no explanation, or is failing to eat regularly, it’s time to take more definitive action. The same can be said for major changes in personal hygiene — such as unkempt hair, foul odors, dirty clothing, dental issues, or physical sores. These instances could indicate the presence of cognitive or physical decline that requires help that a skilled nursing facility can provide.
- Your loved one falls frequently or is immobile
Physical fitness and mobility can decline (often quite rapidly) as we age. Slips and falls are immensely common among seniors and can result in serious injuries. If your loved one has fallen in the past, is experiencing problems with their balance or vision, requires a mobility aid to get around, or is unable to tend to basic household tasks due to their physical limitations, long term care facilities can provide physical assistance and peace of mind. In some cases, physical therapy and other activities may even be offered to help residents maintain or improve their mobility issues. Rather than worrying about your parent falling at home with no one to help them, you can rest assured that they will be safe with more intensive care.
Ultimately, the choice to move your loved one into a long term care facility is a totally personal one. Making a judgment call about whether your parent is ready for this step — and whether you’re emotionally prepared for it — can be extremely difficult. For more information on our long term care facility and how we can help your loved one during this time, please contact us today.