5 Signs Mom or Dad Shouldn't Live Alone Anymore

June 5, 2017

It’s challenging making decisions about a parent’s living situation.

For years, Mom or Dad have been independent–just yesterday, it seems, they were taking care of you! However, a startling number of seniors who should be receiving care are living alone, including 25% of those with Alzheimer's or dementia. Such isolation puts their health, safety, and emotional well-being at risk.

If you know what signs to watch for, you and your parent can be confident that when you do transition them to assisted living, it will be at the right time, not only keeping them safe but enriching their lives.

5 Signs Mom or Dad Shouldn't Live Alone Anymore | Brethren Care Village Ashland Ohio1. They forget about their medical needs

If your parent takes daily medication to manage a chronic health condition, they can be at risk for taking the wrong dose, overdosing, or forgetting their medication altogether. Crucial doctors’ appointments may also go unscheduled or forgotten, putting your parent at greater risk for serious health problems.

2. They fall behind in their housekeeping

Have you noticed your parent’s house declining in its cleanliness and organization? Are items starting to pile up, creating tripping hazards? Are kitchen and bathroom areas showing high levels of grime and poor sanitation? Your parent may be lacking the eyesight, physical strength, memory, or will to continue with daily chores, indicating the need for assistance in these areas.

3. They show signs of poor nutrition

If your mom or dad has lost or gained a significant amount of weight, consider how they are managing their diet. Often seniors with dementia or other health challenges will forget to eat daily meals or struggle with preparing their own food. Common kitchen tools and appliances may present safety risks if your parent’s eyesight or strength is declining, so they may choose to forgo eating or depend on processed foods and frozen dinners, increasing their intakes of calories and sodium.

4. They fall into financial trouble

Lapses in memory or failure to collect and organize the mail can result in unpaid bills. Your parent may forget how to write a check or balance the checkbook, resulting in a cycle of late fees, distressing letters, or calls from banks and creditors. Scammers also prey on the elderly, convincing them to invest in items or contribute to fake charities with repeated requests.

5. Social isolation 

If your parent is no longer participating in social activities they used to enjoy, opting instead to stay shut in the house with the television, they may be at risk for serious depression. Lack of reliable transportation, fatigue, or embarrassment about health problems may all lead to social isolation at a time of life when rich interpersonal connections are needed the most.

If any of these signs hit a nerve, it might be time to consider an alternative living arrangement for your parent.

This can be a challenging conversation. One way we’ve found that helps elderly parents warm to the possibilities of senior or assisted living is by coming for a tour. Many older individuals carry with them frightening ideas of what senior living is like. A visit to Brethren Care Village can help dash those fears, perhaps even inspiring excitement about this change.

This time of life doesn’t have to be stressful. We’re here to help you navigate this season of life with your parent. Call us, explore our services, or schedule a tour today!

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