The process of determining if an elderly parent should no longer live alone is a difficult one for Baby Boomers and for the extended family at large.

A new book, Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially & Legally for a Parents’ Death, by Carolyn A. Brent, helps family caregivers to discern, discuss, and deal with end-of-life issues and lists the following points to consider in deciding on the best care for aging parents.

The home is decidedly cluttered although parents were always great

Bills and other mail are piling up.

The checking account balance is wrong and bills are not paid.

Your parent is losing a lot of weight.

They have forgotten the basics of hygiene.

They appear in inappropriate clothing.

There are signs of forgetfulness in the home.

Your parent regularly misses appointments and other important dates.

They are just acting plain weird.

They exhibit signs of depression.

Much of the above might be attributed to depression, which comes from a sense of loneliness or the realization that they can no longer do things for themselves. Putting them somewhere that offers assistance, socialization, and activities can help cure the loneliness and put them back on track to a more fulfilling, active, and engaged life.