Keeping My Mom Safe, Happy, and Healthy
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Keeping My Mom Safe, Happy, and Healthy

When we found out that my mom was experiencing signs of dementia, we didn't take the news lightly. We were concerned about her well-being, and I knew that she couldn't keep living on her own. To keep her safe, I decided to enroll her in a nursing home that specialized in mental health care. She was concerned about the change at first, but as soon as she moved in, she only had positive things to say about her new digs. She loved the ability to get in touch with doctors the same day, and she was even able to make a few friends along the way. This blog is all about keeping your parents safe, happy and healthy.


Keeping My Mom Safe, Happy, and Healthy

Does Your Elderly Parent Have Specific Needs to Consider?

Lisa Sutton

If you can no longer physically or personally care for your elderly parent at home, you may reach out to an assisted living facility or nursing home for guidance or assistance. Before you move your loved one in a facility, you must consider a number of things first, including your parent's physical and psychological needs. Here are some things you should discuss with an assisted living facility or a nursing home about your loved one right away.

Physical and Medical Needs

Although a growing number of older adults live on their own, some seniors can't remain at home without some type of physical or medical assistance. Physical and medical problems, such as poor ambulation, malnutrition, and severe osteoporosis, can change the way your loved one functions on a daily basis. If your loved one has many health problems, they may require specific care to meet their needs.

Before you contact an elderly care facility or representative for assistance, compile a list of your parent's current and past medical problems and procedures. A facility or representative may use the list to determine your loved one's initial care plan.

The care plan may address your elderly parent's immediate:

  • therapeutic needs such as occupational and physical therapy
  • personal care needs like bathing, feeding, and grooming 
  • medicinal needs such as oral and topical treatments

Your loved one's care plan may change in the future if they decline in physical health, develop a new health problem, or show signs of improvement. 

In addition to your parent's physical and medical needs, a care facility representative may need to learn more about your loved one's emotional, cognitive, and psychological needs before they can properly assist them.

Emotional, Cognitive, and Psychological Needs

It's important to discuss any emotional, cognitive, and psychological problems or needs your loved one may have with a potential caretaker. Any of these problems can affect your parent's well-being and care over time. Prevalent conditions, such as dementia and depression, can gradually change an individual's ability to verbally and physically communicate their needs to other people.

You want to tell a facility or representative immediately if your loved one:

  • expresses anger, becomes aggressive, or acts in a way that frightens you or other caregivers
  • forgets who you are or lose the ability to focus on small things
  • refuses to bathe, eat, sleep, or take their medications

Some seniors may become overly restless and wander away from home when they experience a decline in mental and psychological health. If none of the safety mechanisms you placed in your home prevent your loved one from wandering, then it can be unsafe for them and you.

To combat or address the issues above, a care facility may need to add special protocols to your senior parent's care plan. The protocols may include placing your loved one in a secured nursing or housing unit. The unit will allow your parent to wander freely and without fear. If your loved one experiences sundowning in the evening, then a secured unit may be better for them.

Facility staff may also be on hand to redirect or guide your loved one when they refuse to participate in their personal grooming, meals, or medical treatment. If your loved one learns to participate in their personal care and treatment, they may feel better about living away from you or their family. 

If you're concerned about your senior parent's declining health, consult an elder care facility, nursing home, or assisted living facility right away. Finding one that is close by may help you be able to visit your parent and may help you feel better about the move.