It’s really difficult to know or even acknowledge that it might be time for your senior parent to stop living alone. It’s not a decision that is made overnight, and the beginning signs are usually very subtle. If your senior parent is starting to show any of the following behaviors, it might be worth considering speaking to them about not living alone anymore.
- Signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Your senior parent should not be living alone if they are starting to show signs of dementia or alzeheimer’s. Early signs of dementia can easily be confused with ordinary signs of aging, but there is a difference between normal forgetfulness that comes with age versus dementia. Some signs are if your senior parent has stopped caring about their personal hygiene and their appearance, they are disoriented easily, their sense of humor has changed, they lose track of time or forget about events often, or are confused in general. Paying attention to details like the ones listed will help you to know if your senior parent might have alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Recent Accidents
Accidents can mean new bumps or scrapes on your parent’s car or falls that your parent might have had recently that led to injury. A warning sign that your parent should not be driving anymore is if they do have new dents on their car and can’t remember how they got them. If your senior parent has gotten into some minor or major car accidents recently, then that is another red flag that they should not be driving themselves places anymore, and probably not be living alone. The accidents also, of course, transfer to self-injuries that might have been happening to your parent more frequently. If they’ve fallen or stumbled more than usual and it has led to injuries then it might be time for them to stop living alone.
- They are Withdrawing Socially
Seniors need to socialize to keep their mental health stable. Because of this, maybe it’s worth considering getting extra care for your senior parent if are avoid any and all social gatherings. This could include outings with friends, religious services, or other get-togethers that they might be trying to avoid. The first step could be to pay attention to their social behavior and try to make sure they are interacting with others. But sometimes to help your parent avoid isolation, a bigger change like making sure they don’t live alone anymore is needed. As already stated, to benefit their mental health, a senior should have a healthy amount of social life. Living alone and keeping themselves isolated can lead to depression, cognitive decline, and other mental health issues.
- Fluctuations in Their Weight
It’s good to keep an eye on any huge weight fluctuations your parent might have gone through recently- whether their weight has gone up or down significantly. Their sudden appetite changes could be a sign of something more serious that could be linked to a psychiatric, health, or neurological problems. The reason in the change in weight could be because of a serious health problem or the fact that they are having a hard time getting around and therefore are not fixing themselves enough nutritional meals. Either way, this is a sign that your senior parent should not be living alone. Seniors have specific nutritionals needs that if not followed are dangerous to their health and lead to malnutrition.
- Financial Issues
Pay attention if your senior parent is paying their bills on time. If there are bills or final notices on their kitchen counter or in their mailbox, then they might not be able to live alone anymore. The reason for these issues usually stem from dementia or depression which prevent them from remembering or wanting to pay their bills on time or at all. And symptoms like these can leave seniors vulnerable to identity theft. They may not even realize that their identity has been stolen until it’s too late. So if your parent is having serious money problems, it might be time for them to stop living alone.
If you would like to discuss assisted living in Birmingham, give Cottages a call at (205) 909-6435.