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How To Know When Your Loved One's Wishes To Remain At Home Is No Longer Best

August 9th, 2022

Our parents raise us, nurture us and put us first for most of our lives. Then the shift comes where the adult child becomes the caregiver. We miss what once was but fiercely take on the task of giving our parents the care they deserve. We do everything in our strength to make sure their wishes are respected. Sometimes we are so determined to "keep the plan" that we miss signs that a new plan is necessary.

Personally, being in nursing and elder care management for 25 years, I have seen so many older adults and their families ignore the signs that staying at home is no longer the best plan for care. 90% of the calls that I receive from families are during a crisis. Unfortunately it is usually a completely preventable crisis. Even more unfortunate is that these preventable situations quite often lead to a permanent decrease in quality of life and life expectancy.

There are some signs to look for to determine if continuing to live at home is hindering your loved ones quality of life instead of adding to it or worse, setting them up for a crisis situation. Some signs are easy to miss at first. Some, we ignore. The process of dealing & coping with our aging parent is a difficult! Our heart just will not let us see things sometimes!!

FALLS. Many times I get the call for urgent help AFTER a fall or other crisis. Unfortunately, it only takes one fall to make a sudden negative impact on our loved ones quality of life. My grandfather fell. He broke his hip and had a small head trauma. He went through surgery and rehab but he was never the same. He never again returned home. So often this is preventable. Many times, we can help prevent falls with safety measures at home. Sometimes, the only solution is constant supervision and spaces specifically created to help prevent falls. For example, the shower units in most retirement and independent living communities are designed with safety in mind.

DEPRESSION. Have you noticed a decrease in their personal hygiene? Their home being unkept? A lack of desire to go to church? Weight loss? These signs can also be related to other conditions. However, depression in older adults is frequently overlooked. All too often it is chalked up to other things. Depression in our seniors can be related to many different things in their lives. Loss of health, spouse, mobility and so on. A great way to combat elder depression is consistent socializing and activities. If mobility limits socialization, it may be time to consider a move. There are many outstanding senior communities that offer relevant social events and mentally stimulating activities. If depression is let go too long, it often leads to quick physical deterioration. Sometimes it's irreversible.

It is very rare that an older adult wants to leave home. At Patriarch Placement, we are experts in counseling seniors through the process of accepting that they are no longer safe at home. There are so many misconceptions about retirement and assisted living communities. Our goal is to educate older adults and their families about the benefits of senior living. Senior living strongly promotes safety, staying active and socialization. All of which maintain good health!

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