The signs that an elderly person should not live alone can include an inability to take care of their basic needs, such as feeding themselves or maintaining personal hygiene. Other signs include difficulty moving around the house or experiencing an increase in fall-related injuries, such as bruises or broken bones. It’s also crucial to pay attention to signs of memory loss, such as increased forgetfulness and missed appointments or social activities. 

Missing events can also be a sign of depression. Although depression isn’t a normal part of growing older, it’s commonly seen in seniors for various reasons, such as developing chronic health issues, retiring from a job or living alone. Seniors struggling with depression may become socially isolated or stop taking care of themselves. Without treatment, the depression can worsen. Having a conversation with an elderly person about care options or having someone check on them may help improve their overall health and quality of life.

How to Talk to an Elderly Person About Care Options

Talking to an elderly parent or relative about hiring a caregiver or considering residential care can be challenging, but it’s an important conversation to have if they can’t live alone safely. Many seniors will need long-term care as they get older but don’t plan for it because they’re afraid of losing their independence or in denial about their health problems. There are several common chronic health issues seniors face, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia. These issues can cause various mental and physical changes, such as confusion, fatigue or limited mobility, that make it difficult to live alone.

Taking the time to learn about these conditions can help you communicate more effectively with an elderly relative and explain how a caregiver or residential facility can improve their well-being. It’s also important to be patient and let an elderly person actively participate in every decision made regarding their health and living situation to preserve their independence. Make it clear you’re concerned about their well-being and allow them to share their own thoughts on the matter. If they feel as if they’re in control, they may be more willing to discuss care options. 

What Long-Term Care Options Are Available?

There are various long-term care options available for seniors, depending on their condition and how much help they need. Older adults wishing to stay at home who don’t require medical assistance may benefit from home care. A certified nursing assistant can visit their home and help with daily living tasks, such as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, light housekeeping and transportation. For those needing medical care, home health care provides skilled nursing services aligning with the individual’s condition by sending trained health care professionals directly to their home.

In some cases, it may not be safe for an older adult to remain in their home at all, especially if they need 24-hour supervision. Assisted living is a residential option for those who can mostly live independently and don’t need around-the-clock medical care but find it challenging performing daily tasks alone. If an elderly relative does need daily medical attention, nursing homes provide various skilled nursing services while memory care communities offer a secure environment for seniors living with memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.