Trying to tell an elderly relative such as a grandparent or parents that it’s time they went into a home is never an easy conversation.
Many older people will be worried about moving to somewhere new and losing their independence, but as people age, there gets to a point when it becomes obvious that they need a bit of extra help in life.
If you’re having difficulty in persuading them it’s time to move, try to be gentle but effective in telling them that they need additional care and should consider specialist residential accommodation.
The Signs to Look Out For
Aging isn’t fun for everyone, and the older people get, the more likely they will be to have more health problems.
It can be difficult for them to take care of themselves, and they may need you to help them with simple things like getting dressed, bathing, and eating their food.
Sometimes they will need medication or even a feeding tube if they’ve lost their appetite and are becoming malnourished as a result.
Your elderly relatives might not be able to look after themselves safely, and it’s at this point that they will need to consider additional care, but this is usually something that you, as a trusted family member, will need to address.
Lapses in Memory or Judgement
One of the first signs that your elderly relative isn’t coping as well as they used to in the past is if they’ve started forgetting things easily or have had a sharp decline in their memory.
They may forget where they put things and start mistaking places for other things that they recognize, like the end of the bed for the edge of a coffee table.
You can be there to help them out, but be prepared to repeat yourself with them a few times.
If you are at the point of helping a relative decide to move out of their home into a care complex, look for places like Brandywine Living at Haddonfield in New Jersey, which specializes in memory care and supporting people with memory difficulties.
Shortness of Breath and Heart Palpitations
Your elderly relatives could be having lung problems, or they might have a heart condition.
If they are having a problem breathing easily or experience chest pains at night, you should speak to their doctor and ask if they need to consider additional care.
You should take your elderly relative’s symptoms seriously and even go so far as to bring your loved one in for a medical checkup if you suspect there might be something wrong with them.
New Irritability and Frustrations
This is a common sign that your elderly relative is not coping as well as they used to in the past. They may have become frustrated with the amount of work they have to do every day, or they may be irrationally angry at you for things you’ve done.
This could be a normal part of aging for your loved one, but it’s important that you try to talk through these frustrations with them and try and find solutions together.
If all else fails, you may need to have a serious discussion about whether or not it might be time for a friend or family member to get more involved in their lives or to discuss moving to somewhere that can assist them with the things they used to find easy.
Unexplained Injuries (such as Scratches and Bruises)
If you notice marks on your elderly relatives that they can’t explain, it’s a good idea to speak to them about it and try to get to the bottom of what might be happening.
If they don’t have any family nearby that can help look after them, then ask yourself this question: is this the sort of thing they are likely to cause themselves? If so, you should take them in for a medical checkup and try and get some answers.
If they are not able to look after themselves and don’t live alone, they may be experiencing elder abuse.
Lower Attention to Hygiene
As our elderly relatives age, it’s inevitable that their hygiene will become more challenging. However, you should always take care to check for any changes and try and get them the help they need.
If you notice that your relative is washing less or stops bathing for long periods of time, it might be time to speak to them about this and try and get some answers. If this happens often enough or if they aren’t able to get help from someone else, then you should consider contacting more appropriate care services and begin the process of getting them the extra help they need.
Poor Sight or Hearing
Somewhat similar to the previous point, if your relative is having trouble seeing or hearing things as they are used to, then this could be a problem.
If they are having problems communicating with other people in their local area and you notice that they’re struggling to hear what others are saying, this can put them at a big disadvantage when it comes to getting emergency help should they need it.
If things are getting bad, it’s time to call some agencies and get your elderly relative some help before it gets too bad.
Difficulty Driving or Navigating
If your relative is having problems with getting to places that they’ve been to plenty of times before, or if they still have a car and are struggling to drive it, then this could be a sign that they need additional help.
Sometimes people will have good intentions and may not want to bother anyone for help. As time goes on, this could prove difficult for them and can lead them to some very sticky situations.
Looking Pale or Tired
Poor skin tone is also another sign that your relative has trouble making it to the end of each day, and of course, it’s important to check on this.
If you notice that your loved one looks as though they aren’t as healthy as they used to be, then don’t be afraid to ask them about it.
You could also ask them if there are any underlying issues that they are experiencing. Asking these sorts of questions can help you decide whether or not it’s time to take the next step and approach some care agencies.