Supporting an Aging Parent: How to Know When It’s Time to Get Help

Supporting an Aging Parent: How to Know When It's Time to Get Help

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Caring for an aging parent on your own can be both rewarding and all-consuming. Making medical decisions, managing financial matters, and tending to daily care often become increasingly stressful and exhausting as time goes on.

Knowing when to seek help is an important part of the caregiver’s role.

Accept that All Family Caregivers Have Limits

The role of primary caregiver can be a tough one. Siblings may want to help, but live far away. Neighbors and friends may be supportive, but busy with their own families. Even with emotional support and frequent assistance from friends and family, caregivers may still feel overwhelmed.

Recognizing your own caregiving limitations isn’t easy. In fact, many caregivers try to deny their feelings, and ignore the signs of caregiver burnout.

Discuss Options Even Before It’s Time to Make a Change

It’s important to discuss senior care options together with your parent before the need becomes urgent. That way, you can take the time to find the best fit—one that makes both of you happy. You’ll also have the chance to tour different senior living communities and find one that’s a good fit—the one that most feels like home.

Signs You Need Help Supporting an Aging Parent

Sometimes a senior loved one experiences a major medical event that makes it very clear they need a different kind of care. A stroke, a fall, or loss of mobility can sometimes mean they require more care than you can provide at home.

Very often, however, the decline in a senior’s health is more gradual. As your parent ages, small changes in behavior can go undetected. You may not notice, for example, that your mother now has trouble buttoning her clothes or lifting heavy pans in the kitchen. She might lose interest in her favorite hobbies without your noticing.

Of course, not every tiny shift in behavior means there’s a problem you can’t tackle together. But when these changes do occur, it’s important to take note and understand how they affect your ability to give proper care.

A checklist of what to watch for can be very helpful. It can provide a benchmark for assessing if you need help in your caregiving role.

First Assess then Develop a Plan

Knowing when you need help with caregiving takes a thorough understanding of your loved one’s situation. Once you fully comprehend their needs and ability to care for themselves, you will be better equipped to assist them in making important decisions.

Signs it May be Time to Look for Help for a Senior

Here are a few indicators a senior might need more assistance:

  • Physical Health. Look for changes in health status, including unintended weight gain or loss, hearing problems, incontinence, balance problems, vision issues, pain, and more.
  • Mental Health. Watch for decreased interest in hobbies, friends, or life in general. Also be on the lookout for signs of sadness, problems managing bills and serious lapses in memory.
  • Daily Living. Increasing need for help with dressing, bathing, food prep, eating, and using the toilet are important warning signs to note.
  • Hygiene Changes. If an always tidy parent now shows up at family gatherings or outings looking a little messy or disheveled, it can be a sign they are struggling.
  • Medication Use. Mistakes with medications is a leading reason older adults end up in hospitals. Look for the date on each prescription bottle and compare the date with the number pills left to see if too many — or too few— remain.
  • Home Safety. Falls around the home are a red flag a senior needs help. And it’s always important to remember that falls are the leading cause of disability among older adults.

Download our Staying Home vs. Moving to Senior Living Guide or schedule a tour of a community near you today!

New call-to-action
Vitality Living half Blossom
Skip to content