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We love our parents and want them to enjoy life in a safe and comfortable environment. However, unfortunately, sometimes it starts to become apparent that the parent cannot cope with independent living in his or her own home. That makes us realize that we have to possibly consider making arrangements for constant and professional care, hopefully with the parent’s consent, for others to take care of daily living and physical and medical needs, attractive living conditions, meals, household chores, taking medications correctly, memory care if needed, and providing activities that will make the parent happy, creative, and have reasons to get up in the mornings.

Most of the grown children nowadays do have to continue working and are not available to stay home and take care of the aging parent, so it may become necessary to find one of the many excellent assisted living homes that will be able to give 24/7 attention and take the heavy burden off the shoulders and minds of the children.

Following are some of the signs that should warn you that such a day may be approaching:

* Be aware of smaller problems that can become warnings that some things are starting to go wrong so that they can be headed off and perhaps corrected ahead of time, if possible.

* Is there too much confusion, forgetfulness, depression, extreme mood swings or changes in personality compared to the usual?

* Take a good look at both the interior and exterior of the house for signs of neglect that the parent just can no longer handle, whether personally or by having to locate and hire the right people. Is paint peeling? Is the lawn unkempt? Does the home need a good cleaning? Are there late payment or bounced check notices in the mail?

* Is there a loss of interest in hobbies, crafts, reading, sports or other programs on television that used to be enjoyed by regular participation? Is the clothing choice disheveled? Are there expired or spoiled groceries in the refrigerator?

* Do you see poor personal hygiene or weight loss? When asking about diet details, do you realize that the choices are not healthy and that the parent isn’t eating enough?

* Does the parent miss medical and dental appointments that will keep a check on health and also prevent problems from getting worse by taking the proper corrective steps early?

Assisted living homes have increased their amenities and activities to a great extent, and it is a pleasure to be a resident and take advantage of what is offered. Being well taken care of in a secure, safe, and uplifting environment is usually well appreciated by the parent once he or she settles in while being surrounded by some personal belongings from home to ease into the transition. It won’t take long to find that it is exciting to make new friends and try their hands at new hobbies.