8 signs it’s time: how to know your parents may need assisted living

09 September, 2021

It can be difficult to know when it’s time for your parents to look into assisted living. While there can be obvious signs, such as a sudden dip in health or a major injury, oftentimes it is the subtle changes in physical and mental wellness that reveal a need for greater help. But what signs do you need to be wary of? Here are 8 signs it might be time for your parents to look into their aged care options.


1. Problems with completing daily activities 

Home is where the heart is and it can often reflect our mental and physical well-being. Signs to look out for include your parents losing a noticeable amount of weight, their pet/s looking uncared for, or if their home now looks unkempt. 

These signs indicate it may be time to have a conversation about whether they need extra help around the house or consider if residential aged care is more suitable.


2. Chronic or worsening health problems

Are your parents getting sick frequently or struggling with recovery from illness? This can indicate it might be time to consider assisted living. 

Weak immune systems or chronic illnesses need a higher level of care and monitoring. Receiving professional support can improve your ageing parent’s quality of life and help them get back to doing the things they love, sooner.


3. Isolation due to lockdown restrictions 

With recent and ongoing lockdowns, ensuring our seniors are safe and socially-distanced is a high priority. However, this can lead to social isolation, which can be detrimental to mental wellbeing. 

Assisted living is a great option to help your parents receive quality care and stay social in a safe environment during these unprecedented times.


4. Low mood and depression

Have you noticed your parents are choosing to stay at home, rather than meet with their friends? Do they often seem to be in a state of melancholy or sadness? 

The last thing we want to see is our parents retreating into themselves so it’s important to try to bring community and connection back into their lives. Retirement villages or hybrid aged care models, like Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities Robina, are great options for those wanting to enjoy the next stages of their lives and join a welcoming community. If your parents are showing signs of a low mood, take the opportunity to have an open conversation about the benefits of assisted living in a social community. 


5. Recent falls

Falls can come out of nowhere and it can be stressful deciding what the best care options are for your parents’ situation. While home packages or respite care may be great options for fall injuries that require high-level monitoring, even little stumbles can be an indication of a growing health issue.

It’s important to watch out for clues of frequent falls, such as bruising or scratches, and reach out to your parents to discuss these signs.


6. Lack of access to a supportive community

In general, our elder generations experience loneliness and social isolation more frequently than other age groups. This is an important sign to watch out for as feeling disconnected from community and loved ones can exacerbate ongoing declines in physical and mental health. 

If your family is not able to visit your parents as often as you would like and you can see a lack of support is impacting their lives, hybrid care models and retirement villages are a great option to boost their social life.


7. Trouble navigating the home

Do your parents avoid walking upstairs? Are they using furniture to steady themselves? Have you seen them struggle with using everyday items? 

These signs are a cause for concern and indicate your parents are in need of greater help. If you have noticed your parents are struggling or avoiding walking to certain areas, make sure to approach a conversation about assisted living options with understanding and ensure to listen to their concerns.


8. Forgetfulness and difficulty remembering conversations

If your parents are frequently repeating the same story over and over again, or they are consistently forgetting to take their medicine, this is a major cause for concern. This is a sign that your loved one may require external care as forgetfulness in old age can pose a serious health risk.

Broaching the subject of aged care options with your parents can be difficult. It’s important to approach this conversation with empathy and be ready for open communication with your parents. If you need advice on how to help a parent reluctant to accept aged care, we have a comprehensive guide you can read


Aged Care Assist

At Odyssey, we want to empower your parents in aged care by giving them the right tools and knowledge. Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities offers free, balanced advice that is tailored to your personal situation. Whether your parents are wanting to move into Odyssey or not, our Aged Care Assist Service is here to guide them through the decision-making process. To learn more about our program, visit here.