Top 10 Signs Your Loved One May Need to Move
By Mary Kristen Giles, North Dallas LIVING WELL Magazine
You notice that your loved one is losing weight
Weight loss can be a sign of illness, malnutrition, depression, or the decreasing ability to cook.
Your loved one falls frequently
Falls can be an indication of a need for medications to be regulated, a need for physical therapy due to muscle weakness, ear infection, need for assisted mobility devices (walker or cane), or obstacles in the home that are hazardous.
You notice that your loved one’s hygiene is lacking
As some of our loved ones age we may notice that they are not showering as often. There can be many reasons for this, such as physical inability to do so on their own, the fear of falling in the shower, urinary tract infection, depression or the need for medication management.
Your loved one is not getting the in-home care that they need
If your loved one has someone coming in to assist them but they seem to need more than what is provided, a change may be needed. If you are using a sitter service but there is a need for more medical type help, you may need a home health company instead. If this adjustment isn’t helpful, a move may be needed.
Your loved one used to be active but now is reclusive
This is often the case when someone lives alone. A sudden change in their interest in things that they used to enjoy may be an indicator of depression. Sometimes this can be solved by encouraging them to get out and meet people they have things in common with at a senior center or church. If these options are not working it may be time for them to move to a senior community. In a community setting socialization becomes easier.
Your loved one recently lost a spouse or someone close to them and you fear that they will not be able to function on their own
A decline in health and the ability to get through daily activities are common after the death of someone they are close to. Like anyone else in that situation, their emotions are high and their morale is low. Starting fresh, making new friends, and staying busy can help. These things help them remember that there is still happiness ahead in spite of the loss they are feeling.
You and/or other family lives far away from them and you feel they are not safe at home alone
Family tends to worry about each other when they live far away, especially when a senior is involved and they are living alone. Thoughts of them having a fall, a fire, a break in, a natural disaster, or a sudden medical problem may be on your mind. How long would it take for you to get to them in their time of need? Moving a family member closer to you or moving them to a community where you know they will not have to deal with any of these issues all alone may be necessary for your own peace of mind.
Your loved one needs a short-term care (Respite Stay) for continued recovery after a hospital or rehab stay
Making a move doesn’t always have to be permanent. Several places offer temporary stays. This comes in handy when someone has had a surgery and needs a little bit more time to recover before they go back to their daily cooking and cleaning in their own home. This type of stay is also helpful if your loved one is nervous about a move and would like to try it out first.
Your loved one cannot or doesn’t desire to maintain their home any longer
Homes are a big upkeep. Maintaining lawns, pools and home repairs is tiresome. Senior communities have maintenance teams to do repairs and even things like changing light bulbs.
Your loved one has mentioned making a move
The BEST time to make a move is when your loved one brings it up! Comments like, “This house is getting too big,” “I’m so tired of keeping up this yard,” or “I sure wish I knew more people who like to play bridge.” These are all great openings to having that conversation. People change their minds from day to day; so whenever they express that, they are open to the discussion, that IS the time to talk about it.
Author Mary Kristen Giles is Director of Sales and Marketing at The Forum at Park Lane.