For many of us, the challenge of caring for elderly parents or loved ones seems to come on suddenly, creating a substantial and potentially overwhelming transition. However, if you know what signs to look for along the way, you can proactively address many of the common issues adult children face when caring for seniors.
The key to preparing for this responsibility lies in recognizing certain signs that indicate our aging loved ones may require assistance, such as home health care services. It’s rare for elders to admit they need help, often due to their strong desire for independence or not realizing they need assistance. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of indicators that your aging parent may need some help at home. Most of these are questions whose answers will range from “never” to “always”, with a lot of “sometimes” in the middle:
Alteration in Housekeeping Standards
Has your parent’s regular housekeeping routine started to change or decline? Are you noticing clutter build up on counters or tables?
Are bills being neglected? Are there issues with their primary banking accounts, like overdrafts or bounced checks?
Unexplained Weight Loss
Has your loved one lost weight or appeared frail recently? Weight loss could indicate that your parent can no longer cook or shop independently. Check for outdated or spoiling food at their home.
Unusual Bruises or Burns
Have you noticed any bruises, cuts or burns on your parent’s hands, arms or legs? Unexplained bruises could indicate falls or mobility issues. Burns may suggest difficulties with cooking.
Declining Personal Hygiene
Have you seen or otherwise observed any changes in bathing, dressing, grooming, or toileting habits? These could be signs that your parent is struggling with these tasks.
Difficulty in Mobility
Does you loved one struggle moving from room to room or performing tasks like walking out to the mailbox?
Are appointments being forgotten? Are calls going unreturned or names of familiar people or objects being forgotten?
Signs of Depression
Are you seeing any increase in sadness, withdrawal, or a lack of motivation?
Verbal or Physical Outbursts
Have yo noticed any sudden verbal or physical outbursts, dents or scratches on a car or stains on a carpet? Outbursts could be signs of frustration or stress, oftentimes associated with inability to perform previously routine tasks, while previously avoidable accidents may indicate difficulties in day-to-day tasks.
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, but noticing a combination of these signs could help you when looking after elderly parents. Being proactive will aid in creating a long-term care plan and make the introduction of home health care services less stressful if required.
For more information, or to discuss your loved one’s situation and explore whether in-home care services would be appropriate for your senior family member, please contact our team.