How can you tell if your aging parent needs help? It can be tough for seniors to admit that they aren’t as independent as they used to be. Most of the time, our parent’s won’t come out and tell you they have become overwhelmed by day to day life.
The majority of older people aren’t exactly excited about asking for help. Many times they won’t even realize it themselves until something traumatic like a heart attack or stroke occurs. Other serious wake up calls include car accidents or house fires.
It’s important to look for signs that your elderly relative or friend is in need of assistance before something terrible happens. By paying attention to the warning signs, you can get help and find the right care options early on. Doing this may be difficult, but it can be the wisest choice for your family. Below are some situations to be on the lookout for.
Bills are piling up. Forgetting to pay the bills is one of the first signs that an aging adult may need some help. Letting the bills stack up can be an early sign of dementia. It may also be a case of too much responsibility. Seniors can have trouble keeping track of everything with all the challenges they face.
Medication mismanagement. This can be very dangerous and cause serious health problems. You will need to keep a close eye on the medication. Make sure that your parent hasn’t missed any scheduled medication doses. Watch to see if they are missing doses, taking too many doses or losing pills.
The house is dirty. You might notice that their home is in disarray. As people age, they may start to lose the ability to keep up with cleaning their home. Mobility and vision problems can be a big part of this. If the house is cluttered and dirty, it becomes a major hazard for falls.
Personal hygiene problems. Age-related decline can make it harder to manage personal hygiene. Fear of falling may be a reason for an elderly person not to shower. Lack of personal hygiene can also cause UTI, urinary tract infection. This and body odor can have a distinct odor, which is a tell-tale sign that care is needed.
Lack of healthy food. If you notice a lack of fresh or healthy food beyond what is reasonable, this may be a sign that help is needed. You may notice rotten food in the refrigerator and a lack of perishable products. Your loved may be relying more on canned food or boxed food because it’s easier than preparing fresh meals. Also keep an eye out for unexplained weight loss.
Bruising. As we age our skin is much more prone to bruising, so the signs of falls are easier to spot. If you see bruising on the legs and arms this could be from a fall. Also watch out for elders holding on to furniture as they walk around to brace themselves. This could be because they are having increased difficulty with mobility and could benefit from a cane or walker.
Scratches or dents on the care. When we age it becomes harder to drive. Our vision declines and our reflexes become slower. This can be the cause of many fender benders. If you see cosmetic damage on the car, it may be time to have a conversation about driving.
Bringing up the topic of finding care can be a touchy subject, but it might be the best thing you cad do. Older adults may need a little bit of help with meals, medication reminders, personal care and daily chores. If you do decide to have a conversation about elderly care, be respectful and compassionate. Don’t try and control the conversation and listen to what your parents have to say.