Top 3 Signs it Might be Time to Move Mom or Dad to Senior Care

This is When to Act

moving parents discussion

Seniors, like everyone, want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. But, as they age, they become frailer. Just as they have taken care of you, you want the best for your parents. And that may mean it’s time to start thinking about moving them to assisted living or long-term care. 

With the holidays approaching and everyone being together it’s a good time to evaluate how mom or dad are doing and begin the delicate discussions of when it will be the right time to move. Here are some tips on how to have that conversation.

  • Don’t wait until a health issue arises. Start the conversation early.

  • Make sure everyone in the family is included. One might see things others don’t.

  • Validate their feelings. Listen. This is an emotional topic.

  • Be prepared with information, but don’t overwhelm them with facts.

  • Always keep the tone of the conversations positive.

  • Don’t plan to decide right away. There should be ongoing discussions.

  • Make sure your parent understands they are involved in the decision making.

This is not an easy decision, and it’s fraught with emotion. How can you be sure when it’s the right time? Witnessing confusion, memory loss, or forgetfulness in your parents are signs it may be time to move mom or dad out of their home and into a community that can offer the support they need.

Everyday tasks and household chores are challenging

Many elderly folks live on their own and have no issues keeping up with the house and the daily tasks that keep them safe and healthy. But when mom or dad start to find the following chores difficult or overwhelming, it may be time to consider moving.

  • Bathing

  • Brushing their teeth

  • Vacuuming

  • Cleaning the bathroom

  • Doing laundry

  • Washing the dishes

  • Yard work

  • Taking out the trash

Personal safety and well-being become an issue

Many things we think of as simple can be perilous to a loved one who is beginning to lose balance, be forgetful, or get confused. The following can be dangerous and indicate it’s time to move.

  • Not taking medication

  • Not eating

  • Not following doctor’s orders

  • Falling often

  • Not managing stairs

  • Careless cooking

  • Slipping while bathing

  • Not clearing the sidewalk of ice or snow

It's increasingly difficult on you

It’s natural to want to take care of a parent who has raised and taken care of you. But it may get to the point where it can be overwhelming and interfere with other responsibilities. If any of these become an issue, it may be time to move mom or dad.

Ultimately, mom and dad deserve to stay safe and healthy with the support and attention of professionals. It’s not an easy transition and may be one that takes time, but eventually you and your loved one will be relieved to be in a place that provides the proper care.

After you’ve talked with your loved one and everyone is in agreement that moving is a good idea there will be many decisions to be made, such as which care facility is right for them, how will you pay for the ongoing care, and what to do with their home. The next article in this series, about what to do with your parent’s home, will be published soon to help with that decision.

This can be a difficult, emotional time for everyone. So having empathy, patience, and understanding will help the conversations go more smoothly.

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