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7 Signs It’s Time to Move a Parent to Assisted Living

It's essential to consult a specialist elder law attorney in Los Angeles to protect your parents’ rights and ensure their estate planning takes the new living situation into account.

According to Bette Davis' quote, "Getting old ain't for sissies," rings true for many elderly people in California. Physical challenges can severely impact their independence. Factor in memory loss and the onset of cognitive decline and it becomes essential to consider assisted living options.

What is an Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities provide different types of housing, depending on the senior citizen's care needs, enabling them to maintain independence.

For example, an elderly person who just needs assistance with medication management can stay in a self-sustaining apartment while someone who needs help with bathing and toileting might stay in an individual room.


Each assisted living residence provides a different range of services.

For example:

  • 83.6% have a pharmacy
  • 71.4% provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • 67.7% provide hospice care
  • 55% have mental health services

Some facilities provide more comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer's disease or physical degenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease.

7 Signs Your Parent Needs Assisted Living

Getting a Los Angeles elder law attorney involved as soon as possible is a good idea. If you haven't consulted a lawyer specializing in elder law and estate planning, now is the time.

One of the benefits that an elder care lawyer provides is to recommend good assisted living facilities with social activities and senior care. 

They also provide a comprehensive range of legal services, including Medicare claims, appointing a healthcare power of attorney, and acting as your parent's professional legal advocate. Attorneys ensure the assisted living community adheres to the regulations set out in elder law, and that your parent's assets are not just protected but leveraged for long-term assisted living costs.


It's not always easy to tell if your parent needs to move to an assisted living facility. Subtle signs are quite easy for parents to cover. However, if your mom or dad shows any of the signs below, it's probably time to talk about senior living communities.

1. Changes in Physical Health

Our bones get more brittle as we age and we easily lose balance. The two are a recipe for disaster if your parent falls and breaks their hip, leg, or arm. Arthritis or other joint conditions make it increasingly difficult to carry out activities of daily living (ADL); for example, buttoning shirts and taking medication.

Moving to an assisted living facility helps your parent with the physical challenges while enabling them to maintain independence.

2. Cognitive Decline and Memory Loss

As we age, we become susceptible to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which affects memory and mental function. However, it isn't serious enough to necessitate skilled nursing care homes.

MCI symptoms include:

  • Increased forgetfulness: "It slipped my mind."
  • Losing things easily
  • Missing appointments
  • Loss of focus: Easily distracted or struggling to follow a movie's plot.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Getting lost in familiar places.

If senior citizens develop three or more symptoms, it's time to meet your Los Angeles elder care attorney to discuss assisted living.

3. Difficulty Managing Daily Activities

In addition to joint problems, loss of balance, and thin bones the elderly lose strength. Activities that they could easily do, for example, carrying a tray laden with food, they can't do anymore. Showering might become difficult and getting dressed could pose a serious problem.

If you don't have other health issues, an assisted living facility with apartments for independence and caregivers who help with physical challenges could be perfect for you.

4. Social Isolation and Loneliness

One of the side effects of aging is an inability to leave the home and interact with people while out and about. Some pensioners would even rather stay at home than visit a friend because they're too embarrassed or frustrated with their limited physical ability. 

Assisted living homes provide many opportunities for social interactions with other residents who also have physical and memory limitations. The homes also have a shuttle service to take residents out shopping or to restaurants or parks to ensure they still enjoy time away from home.

5. Increased Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Children often move their elderly parents into their homes so they can take care of them. At first, it seems like a good decision because, aside from a few challenges, mom or dad still manages their own life.

However, the health and mobility issues increase and sometimes the child has to give up their job to care for their parent. Stress mounts as they balance family obligations with parental care. They could become angry, frustrated, resentful and burned out.

Moving your parent into an assisted living facility instead could be better for your parent and save your relationship with mom or dad.

If you're worried about the cost of assisted living, consult a Los Angeles elder care attorney about financial and estate planning. 

6. Safety Concerns and Accidents

One of the primary concerns adult children have for their parents is safety. This can include things like forgetting to lock the door and set the alarm, or forgetting the stove is on and causing an accidental house fire.

It also includes physical safety issues, like falling off a ladder while checking the gutters. Ideally, your parent takes their phone everywhere so they can phone for help if necessary. But they might fall on the phone and break it or break their arm so they can't use the phone.

An assisted living care home ensures that public areas are monitored and there is always someone near at hand to provide immediate help.

7. Emotional Well-being and Quality of Life

Seniors tend to withdraw from activities outside their homes, isolating themselves, and becoming depressed. As their isolation increases, their quality of life decreases and they become caught in a depression trap.

An assisted living home has a holistic approach to caring for its residents, and this includes activities that promote and support emotional well-being and naturally improve quality of life.

Trust McKenzie Legal & Financial to Assist You with Your Elder Law and Asset Protection Needs!

It's not easy making the decision to move a parent into an assisted living facility. There are so many considerations, including legal matters, that overthinking clouds your mind. A certified elder law attorney in Los Angeles, CA can help you by shouldering the law-related factors, including long-term estate planning.

McKenzie Legal and Financial has a team of dedicated California elder law attorneys. Our range of elder law services includes financial and retirement planning, and recommending licensed assisted living housing and care facilities in the state.

Choose elder law specialists, choose McKenzie Legal & Financial! Call 562-594-4200 or complete the contact form on our website to arrange a free 30-minute consultation.

Thomas McKenzie Law
Estate Planning Attorney in California. Full-service law firm specializing in estate plans, wills and trusts, long-term care, and financial consulting. Thomas L. McKenzie received his Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law, in Fullerton, California. While working full-time at night and attending full-time daily classes, Tom graduated law school with honors in 1993.

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