As individuals age, certain daily tasks become difficult for them to do which can affect their ability to live independently According to Dr. Sidney Katz, who was an American physician, scientist, educator, and author, “every human needs to complete six daily functions to live independently. These include:


  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Getting dressed
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Controlling when you can go to the bathroom
  • Getting out of bed


If your loved one has difficulty completing any of the above-mentioned tasks, then it may be a sign that it is time to sit down with them and discuss what they want to do in terms of modifying their living conditions or moving out so that they aren’t living alone. Having this conversation can be hard as many don’t want to accept the fact that they struggle to complete tasks that were once simple. However, the conversation should be held as you don’t want your loved one to develop poor hygiene or go without eating simply because they can’t handle the task associating with bathing themselves or preparing meals so that they are maintaining a healthy diet.

Now, aside from using the six daily functions to assess whether your loved one may need to be moved out of their home so that they aren’t living alone, you can also use these warning signs to help you determine if they are, in fact, ready to move into a different environment where more supervision is available.


Signs Your Aging Relative is Unable to Live on Their Own


  1. Your loved one begins to isolate themselves. The National Council for Aging Care says that “as seniors grow older, they can isolate themselves from friends and family, and that can fuel unhealthy habits and maladies like addiction and increased mortality rates.” Sometimes an aging individual might isolate themselves because they lost a friend or family member and worry about becoming a burden to their loved ones.


  1. Your aging relative develops poor hygiene. If your relative begins to develop an odor, they may not be taking care of themselves in the manner that they need. Whether it is because they are physically incapable of doing so or they fear they might slip and fall in the shower, if bad habits develop that lead to poor hygiene, it might be a sign it is time to move mom or dad into a facility such as a nursing home.


  1. Their home is always messy.When an aging individual can no longer clean up after themselves and tend to their home to keep it tidy and sanitary, they risk “bringing in a host of diseases into the household.”


  1. Your loved one’s health seems to be declining.If your loved one has developed a medical condition such as dementia or heart issues, they might need around the clock care which is something they won’t get at their home when they live independently.


[Source: National Council for Aging Care].


As much as you may not want to have the conversation with your loved one, if you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, you won’t want to wait too long before setting some time aside so the two of you can discuss some potential living arrangements. One option many often turn to in these situations is moving their relative into a nursing home. Many nursing homes provide around the clock care and can assist your loved one with those daily tasks that now have become impossible for them to complete on their own.

It is important that when choosing a nursing home in Birmingham, AL that you research several before deciding on one. Nursing home abuse and neglect are common concerns for many relatives of aging individuals as the issues exist in various nursing homes all across the state of Alabama. Therefore, if you want to be sure the facility you choose is going to provide the services your loved one needs and won’t put their life or wellbeing at risk, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Birmingham, AL who can give you some advice in terms of what to look for when choosing a home.