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When You Can No Longer Care For An Elderly Parent

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An aide hands a resident a cup of tea as they both laugh and smile.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed caring for your loved one, it can be difficult to know what to do next. However, options are available to help your loved one get the care and support they need. 

Continue reading to learn more about what to do if you can no longer care for a loved one’s needs. 

What to Do When You Can No Longer Care for Your Loved One 

When you first begin caring for someone, it may be weekly visits to see how they’re doing and help with some chores. With time, they may need to rely on you more, whether for medication management, help with appointments, or emotional support. Research shows that the role of the caregiver becomes more complex and intense with time

It’s okay if you can’t dedicate yourself to caring for your loved one, it can be a full-time job as they age and need more support. If you can no longer care for their needs, there are a few things to do

Assess Your Loved One’s Daily Needs

First, you should assess what your loved one’s needs are in their daily life. We don’t think about many tasks we complete throughout the day, like moving or eating. However, this may be difficult for your loved one on their own. 

These tasks are known as the activities of daily living, and they include: 

  • Ambulating: The ability to move into different positions & walk on your own
  • Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself 
  • Dressing: The ability to select clothes & put them on independently 
  • Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe, groom oneself, & maintain dental hygiene, nail, & hair care
  • Continence: The ability to control bladder & bowel function
  • Toileting: The ability to get to & from the toilet, use it, & clean oneself

If your loved one struggles with any of these tasks, they’ll generally need assistance with them multiple times every day. It may be worth considering additional support if your loved one’s needs surpass your ability to care for them. 

Look Into Senior Living Options 

When your loved one needs consistent care, assisted living can help support them. These communities offer 24/7 care whenever your loved one needs it. They receive a customized care plan that meets their daily needs. 

Besides daily support, these communities offer new ways for your loved one to engage with others, try new hobbies, and have new experiences

If you’re unsure if your loved one is ready for assisted living, there are several signs you can watch for. 

A senior man is assisted by an aide.

When Is It Time to Consider Assisted Living? 

If you’re on the fence about senior living for your loved one, consider watching for some signs it may be the right time. This decision can be tough to make, but your loved one may need more support than you can currently provide. 

Keep an eye out for the following signs that it may be time for additional care and support

Inability to Care for Finances & Other Responsibilities

As people age, financial and other responsibilities can be difficult to manage. Bills may go unpaid, bank statements ignored, or doctor’s appointments and medications missed. A senior living community can help care for many of your loved one’s daily responsibilities.

Worsening Medical Conditions

The risk for medical conditions increases with age, and your loved one may struggle with their health. While you or your loved one may be handling their medical condition for the moment, you never know when their health may decline. It’s common for seniors to need more care as they age. 

Consider booking a visit with your family doctor if you’re worried about your loved one’s health. Your doctor can evaluate their health and recommend if additional care is ideal for their needs. 

The consistent care and support provided at an assisted living community can help support your loved one’s health, providing them with medication management, doctor’s visits, and additional care. 


Isolation is a common problem for older adults. Many seniors may spend less time participating in hobbies, avoid social interactions, or refuse to leave the house. This loneliness can lead to further complications in the future

Isolation increases someone’s risk of depression and mental decline, so it may be time to consider senior living if your loved one seems isolated or mentally unwell. Assisted living can provide opportunities for social interactions, hobbies, or new activities. 

Trouble with Cleaning

While many people don’t look forward to housework, they know they must keep their living space clean. Housekeeping can become harder with age, and your loved one may struggle with vacuuming, laundry, dishes, or sweeping. 

If you notice poorly kept rooms or untidy areas, it may be time to consider assisted living. The support staff at a senior living community assist with daily housekeeping, helping your loved one’s space stay clean and tidy. 

Inability to Take of Themselves

Poor hygiene is a common sign that your loved one may benefit from more consistent care. Many older adults may lack the motivation to keep up with brushing their teeth, washing their hair, cleaning their clothes, or trimming their nails. Keep an eye on your loved one’s daily routine and see if they avoid any hygiene-related activities. 

Another sign it may be time for assisted living is frailty. Your loved one may look thinner than usual for several possible reasons. They may lack the ability to cook as frequently, or they may have an underlying medical condition. When this happens, senior living communities can provide them with the daily care they require. 

Support for Your Loved One’s Needs

Senior living is beneficial when your loved one needs more support than you can offer. While you may feel a personal responsibility for your family, know they can get all the care they need in an assisted living community. You can always bring any questions or concerns to your local community, and they’ll help as best as possible 

Contact us if you’re interested in assisted living for your loved one. 

Written by bentley

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