Heading home for the holidays? Time spent with family members is invaluable, especially during the holiday season. Traditions are passed down to younger generations, and new memories are made.
And while this time of year is meant to be filled with joy and peace, it may also come with challenges. Gathering during the holidays presents adult children with the opportunity to notice any changes in their aging loved ones’ health and discuss what options are best for their future.
It’s not easy to initiate discussions about health issues and medical care with those closest to you. The last thing you want to do is overstep. However, your parents have always been there to take care of you, and now it’s time for you to prioritize their needs in return.
If you’re having second thoughts about diving into conversations about senior living, East Ridge at Cutler Bay will provide you with the support you need.
Learn specific behavioral signs to look for in an aging parent and how to have productive conversations with them about their current and future living arrangements, below.
Warning signs your aging parent needs senior living
You don’t need to be an experienced family caregiver or medical expert to recognize when a parent’s mental or physical abilities are changing. In fact, ignoring the signs makes matters worse. Being proactive can make a huge impact on your parent’s long-term health.
If you observe any of the following physical, behavioral or cognitive changes, it will be in everyone’s best interest to seek additional care:
- Trouble getting out of a chair/sofa or bed
- Difficulty bathing or using the restroom
- Low energy
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Short temper or increased agitation
- Slurring of words
- Lack of hygiene
- General forgetfulness
- Confusion or loss of train of thought
- Increased paranoia and anxiety
When family comes together during the holidays, it may be easier to notice these symptoms and lean on others for support. It’s helpful to have preliminary discussions with siblings or the healthier parent to determine what care services are needed. Independent living or senior care in a community can offer more reassurance than home care.
Use this time to also point out safety issues within your parents’ home. How can they stay safe while you’re helping them plan their future? One important tip for family caregivers is to implement tools like walkers and shower grab bars for everyday use.
Tips for talking to your parents about their health
The best way to care for your aging parent is to be transparent with them. If you’ve determined it’s best for them to receive some level of additional care, it’s time to have that heart-to-heart conversation.
They may not be expecting you to initiate such a serious conversation during the holidays, which can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed or outnumbered. Many older adults don’t want to leave the comfort of their homes or accept the fact that their independence has diminished. Not to worry. It’s possible to have meaningful and proactive conversations regardless of their initial reaction.
Try these four tips for bringing up the topic of senior living to your parents:
Your parents will have a lot of questions and opinions about senior living and their options. Do your research based on their needs, location and budget, and provide them with pertinent information only, like care services offered, cost, and lifestyle benefits.
A calm approach will show them your concern and that you only have their best interests at heart. Try using positive language like “senior living community” or “retirement community” instead of “nursing home” or “facility,” which can have negative connotations.
Discuss the pros and cons of every option.
Show you’re open-minded and that it’s possible to approach the process with a realistic mindset. Listing out the positives and negatives helps. What will they gain or lose by choosing one option over the other?
Don’t set a deadline.
Committing to a senior living community is a major decision that will affect the rest of their lives. Don’t put pressure on either parent. Continue to have ongoing discussions after you’ve broken the ice so they don’t feel cornered into taking action.
No matter how the conversation goes, it’s important that you make the effort and respect your parent’s wishes. At the end of the day, it’s their decision to make, and all you can do is be there to love and support them.
Find the perfect senior living solution in Cutler Bay.
At East Ridge at Cutler Bay, seniors can find independent living and the care they need in a relaxing setting that promotes wellness. Discover assisted living, memory support, and additional health services that will bring peace and comfort to you and your aging parents.