The decision to help an aging adult move out of a current home is a complex one—both emotionally and practically. Above all, you want the person to be safe and well. Understanding the signs that your loved one should no longer be living alone is an important first step.
One sign to look for is a change in your loved one’s health. Do you see a chronic health condition worsening? Have there been recent accidents or close calls? Does your loved one have increasing difficulty managing the activities of daily living (ADLs)?
Also, look around the house. Common signs of potential trouble include piles of mail, unopened bills, and lots of unread magazines. Look in the kitchen, too. Are there stale or expired foods? Increased use of takeout or simpler cooking? Piles of dishes in the sink?
If your loved one is showing signs that living alone is a strain, it may be time for a talk. Broach the subject of where to live in a neutral way. You may find that your loved one harbors the same fears for current and future safety and security that you do.
One Family Sees the Signs
Talking about a move to a senior living community can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. “It all starts with a family conversation, and the sooner it happens the better for everyone involved,” says Bob Mauterstock. Bob should know. He started to see changes in his mom, but it took a conversation with Benchmark Senior Living to make the move a reality.
Bob’s mom was living in a retirement community for independent seniors when he started to see indications there were problems with her memory. “She was dehydrated, wasn’t taking her medications, and was getting lost on the way to dinner. As a son, I was hesitant to ask my mom to move out of her house. My wife, Mary, wasn’t so hesitant. She interviewed every assisted living community in the area, and we decided Benchmark was the right place for us.”
Start the Conversation Today
“Benchmark was there every step of the way, making my mother’s transition to senior living go smoothly,” Bob said. “They even suggested I take a break for a while as a caregiver to let my mom move in and get adjusted. In just days my mom had settled into her new home and was making friends and creating her new life. It worked so well.”
Ruth lived at Benchmark Senior Living for five years, “but it took a conversation about my mom’s wishes before we made the choice. We tried home care, but there were new aides all the time, and the cost didn’t justify it. As a family, we decided senior living in a community would be better for my mom than home care when it comes to quality of life, wellness and a social life. Without a doubt, it was the right decision.”
“Choosing a senior living community, or helping a parent make the decision, can be a challenge because so few people have the conversation before they think the time is right,” said Mauterstock, a financial planner and author of Passing the Torch, a guide for seniors and families. “My advice is start the conversation today. You will be glad you did.”
Learn more about one of our senior living communities in the Northeast and how Benchmark can make a difference in the life of your loved one when you’re ready to start the conversation.