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3 Possible Signs Your Elderly Parent Needs Nursing Home Placement

If you have started noticing small changes in your elderly parent's behavior or health, you may wonder if they need to be placed in a nursing home. Below are three possible signs they may need placement.

Sudden Differences In The Way Their House Is Kept

If all your life you have watched your parent keep a neat, tidy home, you may have cause for concern if you start seeing sudden differences in the way they keep their house. This could be a sign they are no longer able to perform their regular chores like they used to. 

For example, if your parent starts neglecting the dishes or laundry, the home's condition could start to deteriorate rapidly. The increase in germs could also affect your loved one's health.

The causes of this could be either physical or mental. For example, if they have a physical condition, like severe arthritis, it may be too painful for them to clean their house.

However, if they start showing the early signs of Alzheimer's disease, they may not be able to remember. Another indicator they could be suffering from memory loss is a marked decline in their personal hygiene. 

Either way, this rapid decline in their ability to take care of themselves should be a cause for concern. You may want to take them to a doctor and have them evaluated to find out if there is an underlying cause.

Unsteady Gait Or Recent Fall That Caused A Serious Injury

Another sign that your parent may need more intensive supervision and help is a constant, unsteady gait or a recent fall that caused them to seriously hurt themselves. Especially if they live alone, a fall could become fatal if they are unable to get help. Falls in the elderly are the fifth leading cause of death.

Once an elderly person has fallen, they are two to three times more likely to fall again. For example, if your parent fell last year and broke their hip, they are in danger of falling again, even if they seemed to have fully recovered.

If your parent has started to falter as they walk or does have a history of falls, you may want to discuss the possibility of them getting help. Although this could mean help at home, severe cases, as determined by a physician, may warrant placement in a nursing home.

Unable To Get Out And Participate In Social Activities

Another sign your parent may need to be cared for in a facility is their inability to get out and participate in social activities they used to enjoy. This could be due to failing eyesight, pain, or other physical ailments. When they become home-bound, your parent could become depressed because of the social isolation. 

Depression in older adults has started to become more widespread, with one-fifth of the elderly population being treated for the disease. As they become unable to get out and enjoy their life, the depression worsens and becomes a vicious cycle.

If you think your parent is suffering from depression because of their decreased ability to engage with the outside world, talk to them about it. Look for clues that they are depressed, such as an unwillingness to go on or even thoughts of dying. Depending on the severity, you need to talk to their doctor about treatment and possible placement where they can be supervised.

Although this is not an all-inclusive list of signs, if your parent is showing one or more you may want to investigate the possibility that they need help. If so, you may want to speak to your doctor about helping you find nursing home services in your area. You could then contact the administration to set up an evaluation of your parent to see if placement is right for them.

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