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How to Recognize When It’s Time to Have a Difficult Conversation with Aging Parents

CarePro Senior Transitions Helps You Know When It's Time for a Difficult Conversation

Photo of a man hugging his mom.

It’s not easy for anyone to watch their parents grow older, and it can be even harder to know when it’s actually time to have the talk with them about their ability to remain independent. CarePro Senior Transitions would like to offer you the following signs that it’s time to have that difficult conversation:

Driving:

Several things can impact an elderly person’s ability to drive, including poor eyesight and slow reaction times. If there have been incidents—such as accidents or near-misses—it could be a sign that Mom and Dad’s driving years are at an end.

Another thing to look for is how their memory plays into driving. Are they getting lost on what should be familiar routes? Did they jump onto one highway thinking that it was another highway, and end up someplace far from where they should have been? Both of these can be a sign of dementia, and if they’re to the point where they’re getting lost, it’s time to address it.

Memory:

Besides issues with wandering and getting lost, memory issues can also manifest in other ways. Were you unable to get ahold of Mom the other day, only to find out her phone was cut off because she forgot to pay the bill? This may be a sign that her memory is interfering with her ability to remain independent. Another sign is if Mom and Dad are repeating tasks throughout the day that have already been done, such as shaving or brushing their hair. While those tasks in and of themselves are harmless, if they start doing things such as taking their medication several times a day, it could turn dangerous.

If their memory is so bad that they’re endangering themselves, it’s time to talk to them about gaining power of attorney. They could end up hurting themselves, and if their mental capacities are decreased, they may not be able to make good decisions about their care.

Falls:

Falls are the number one reason why Americans over the age of 65 become injured. A number of things can contribute to a higher rate of falls, such as poor eyesight, declining coordination and balance and a lack of muscle strength. Even if it wasn’t devastating, if Mom or Dad have taken a fall recently, it’s time to talk to them about making their home safer.

At CarePro Senior Transitions, we know it’s not easy to have the conversation with Mom and Dad about their declining ability to live on their own. If they are experiencing some of the above scenarios, however, their very safety could be in jeopardy. That’s why we’re here. We provide a neutral, third-party perspective that can help them make up their minds when it’s time to move to a smaller place or else go into a nursing home.

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