Aging isn’t easy. And as a personal journey, how we age is very individual and unique to each one of us. How one person ages can vary dramatically from everyone else. Some of us remain healthy and active – even working – into our eighties. Others will have chronic health conditions or other factors like genetics that will slow our bodies down and inhibit our cognitive and motor skills.
That said, many people today are living longer, healthier lives thanks to lifestyle choices and advanced medicine. But at some point, it’s prevalent for a senior to have a discussion with loved ones and friends about when they think they need more help. More often, it’s adult children or family discussing with their family member that the time may have come for them to make a move. In either scenario, it’s a delicate topic and one that needs to be had thoughtfully.
It’s essential to start the conversation in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable. Remember that the adult you’re speaking with has lived a full, independent life. They realize they may need help; for example, their vision is failing, and they still drive but are too intimidated to ask someone to take them to appointments. Or maybe they need help bathing or cooking, but they don’t want to reach out for help for fear their friends or family are too busy.
These scenarios can be scary and frustrating for seniors. If adult children are having a conversation with their parents, that dynamic seems awkward for them. After all, it’s going to seem like not that long ago your parent was helping you with daily life activities such as driving a car or cooking your meals. Well, now the roles are reversed. But how do you know when it’s time for Retirement living or other care options?
Safety First. For most families, Retirement living or senior care isn’t a maybe scenario…it’s a we have to. Safety is usually the first issue that comes to mind. When falls are likely to happen because of unstable or slower walking, medication is missed; this is a clear indication that help is needed. Falls are the leading cause of death and injury among people aged 65 and older. In a Retirement living home, help is available 24/7, and regular monitoring ensures seniors are not alone at home and unable to call for help if a fall does happen.
Isolation and Loneliness. Sometimes seniors reach an age or phase of life where many family members and friends have moved away or have passed on. Not having daily contact with friends and socializing can make days and nights seem very long, and often loneliness sets in. Did you know loneliness and isolation affect more than one-third of all adults? In addition, loneliness and isolation are comparable to smoking and obesity on the health status scale. It can increase mortality risk by 30%.
In retirement living, socialization is a very fundamental part of the community. Events, games, dining with others, or even just sitting and talking are a part of daily living. Yet that's not to say privacy and alone time are part of the process, too. The point is that connections are essential for those who wish to socialize; there's always someone to talk to or do things with or make you feel safe.
Caregiver Stress. As much as families love and cherish one another, caring for someone who needs help day in and day out can be stressful. 45% of those caring for a parent reported feeling emotional stress. This may be one of the most challenging conversations between a parent/child or senior/caregiver. But it is essential to realize when someone needs help, and they may be overwhelming the person supporting them.
Once the caregiver and senior conversation has been brought up, it’s time to start looking for some care options that make sense. Our experts are available for consultations, and our home welcomes visitors. We’d love to meet you and find out if Southbrook Retirement is the right place for you or your loved one.