How do I know if my elderly parent needs a nursing home?

It may be difficult to decide when to seek the assistance of a nursing home to care for your aging parent. However, the two common indicators that your parent is struggling at home are the condition of their home and their personal health.

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1. Parent is losing weight

There are several reasons that your elderly parent may be losing weight, unintentionally. These can be depression, diseases or medications. Whatever the cause of your parent’s malnutrition, severe weight loss can put them at greater risk for infection, depression and death.

2. Neglected hygiene

Ignoring basic hygiene like bathing and shaving is a sign that these tasks have become too difficult. Wearing the same clothes repeatedly is also a sign that changing and doing laundry is also a challenge.

3. Increasing forgetfulness 

Most seniors suffer from some degree of memory loss, but if it becomes frequent and sustained, it may be a sign of bigger problems that may be better dealt with at a nursing or assisted living facility. Forgetting to take medications can be serious, but even more dangerous is forgetting a medication has been taken already and taking it two or more times, which could lead to overdose.

5. House is dirty/in disrepair

Something as simple as bills, mail or garbage piling up can be a warning sign. If your parent’s home is generally tidy and falls into disrepair it may mean that everyday tasks have become unmanageable for your loved one to do without assistance.

6. Frequent injuries

Often balance becomes an issue as we age. Lack of balance can lead to frequent falls and serious injuries and bruising.

7. Strange behavior

It’s not uncommon for seniors to become confused or disorientated. This can lead to strange behavior like leaving home late at night or wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the climate outside.

If you’re having trouble deciding if a long-term care facility is in the best interest of your loved one, or you notice any of these signs, it may be time to consult with professionals like those found at Encompass Senior Solutions.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”