As your parents get older, how can you be sure they’re staying healthy? There may come a point in time when they can no longer look after themselves.
By placing your parents under the care of a long-term care facility, you’re assured they’re taken care of by professionals. This is true, especially if you live far away from them or if there’s just no way that you can constantly watch over them.
Here are four signs that your elderly parents may need long-term care:
They have difficulty in remembering
Has your parent told you stories they’ve already told before? You may not realize it, but instances like this are the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
In its onset, sufferers of the disease may forget events or conversations. But as the disease progresses, sufferers will develop more severe symptoms, like memory impairments.
They may routinely misplace possessions, forget appointments or important events, get lost in familiar places, or even forget the names of family members.
If your parents have Alzheimer’s, it’s important to have somebody constantly watching over them. If you can’t do this, it’s best to place them in an elder care nursing home so they’re always watched.
They’ve lost interest in activities they used to enjoy
Has your social butterfly mother decided to stop attending her weekly book club? Or has your father, who once loved gardening, completely given up on his hobby, seemingly out of the blue?
Unfortunately, losing interest and motivation can be caused by depression. According to the American Psychological Association, depression is remarkably common among seniors. If left untreated, it can be physically and emotionally debilitating.
Loneliness, especially in their low days, could only make things worse for them. Long-term care facilities have depression management activities like individual and group therapies, physical activity, recreation, and rehabilitation activities your parents can be part of.
They regularly forget to take their medications
Take a look at your parents’ pill bottles; are there too many pills left?
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, non-adherence to medication is estimated to cause 125,000 deaths and at least 10% of hospitalizations each year. It was found that up to 57% of individuals aged 65 and older in the U.S. forget to take their medications regularly. As you know, skipping doses or taking too much medication can lead to serious health problems.
They have multiple chronic health conditions
Among Americans aged 65 and older, as many as 75% live with multiple chronic health conditions. Four chronic diseases — cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke — cause almost two-thirds of all deaths among older adults each year.
As an individual’s number of chronic conditions increases, their risk of being hospitalized also increases. Likewise, when a person struggles with illnesses, they’ll need to add specific tasks to their day — like weighing themselves, monitoring their blood sugar level, or taking medication. Placing your ill parent in a home ensures these functions are done on time.
Your aging parent may not tell you that something might be wrong or will minimize their need for help. You must keep an eye out on these signs before it’s too late.