More than half of adult children in America have helped their parents with housework, errands, and home repairs in the last year, according to a Pew Research Center study.
An overwhelming majority of those adult children also report that caring for aging parents is a rewarding experience – they enjoy giving back to their parents.
As time goes on, many parents or loved ones need more assistance. Adult children who are the sole caregivers for loved ones are especially at risk for caregiver burnout. These caregivers may feel tired, stressed, and overwhelmed by the responsibility of providing care for a parent without help.
Caring for aging parents does not have to be all or nothing. Finding support through assisted living or retirement communities can be a great way to find balance. In many cases, additional care can strengthen the relationship between adult children and their parents.
The amenities offered in senior living communities, like housekeeping, laundry, and transportation, allow families to spend more quality time together and less time on tasks associated with maintenance and upkeep.
What are the signs parents or loved ones need more assistance – the kind best given through senior living?
10 Signs Your Aging Family Member May Need Assistance
- The yard and house are not receiving basic maintenance.
- The inside of the house becomes uncharacteristically cluttered, disorganized, or dirty.
- They are increasingly isolated and do not have many opportunities to engage with others.
- They seem disheveled, or their hygiene has suffered.
- There’s a lack of fresh, healthy food in the house and they’ve lost interest in preparing food.
- There’s been a change in their general mood. They no longer enjoy their hobbies and activities.
- They’ve been forgetting to take their medications or get prescriptions filled.
- You notice unexplained bruising, which could indicate they’ve been falling.
- They’ve become more forgetful, perhaps missing important appointments.
- They’ve noticeably gained or lost weight.
Source: Where You Live Matters
Your Parents Need Help – Now What?
Even if you are noticing subtle signs that your parents need extra help, it could be a good time to begin the senior living discussion. It’s not always an easy conversation to have, but the more time you have to plan, the more options you may have.
Experts recommend you talk with your parents before there’s a crisis.
Unsure how to start the conversation? Download our guide: Initiating the Senior Living Discussion.
Consider Senior Living Options
One of the first steps in your journey is to understand the differences between independent and assisted living communities and which option will best serve your parent or loved one.
Many times, aging adults are reluctant to look into senior living because they fear it will force them to give up their independence or they worry they worry their residence won’t feel like home. These concerns are common, but often not rooted in truth.
For example, many Senior Star residents report that senior living has empowered them to be more independent. Instead of relying on friends or family for a ride to appointments, transportation services provide freedom and peace of mind.
Rather than depending on help with grocery shopping, they enjoy the luxury of chef-prepared meals and restaurant-style dining.
When residents are free from the responsibilities of home maintenance and energy-consuming chores, they have more free time to enjoy participating in the activities they love.
Read more: Overcoming Senior Living Fears
The best way to get a feel if senior living is right for your parent or loved one is to take a tour. There are lots of reasons to tour a prospective community, but perhaps the most important is that you’ll have the opportunity to meet caring staff and see all of the incredible amenities a community has to offer.
If you’re seeing these signs your parents need assistance, take heart. You have a number of options for getting them the help they need so their health and happiness aren’t compromised.
Work with your parents to find the solution that supports both you and your loved one’s needs.