Like most people, seniors are usually reluctant to give up their independence. It is more difficult for family members because these are the parents who have always been the authority figures, so it's even harder to take charge and insist on some level of professional caregiving. Senior citizens often disregard the signs that they need some assistance—until an accident or rapid decline in their health makes it clear they cannot manage on their own anymore. When there is a sudden need for care, it's often too late for in-home services that could have easily avoided the problem.
Adult children, family, and friends can monitor an elderly loved one's physical and mental capabilities to determine whether assistance is needed, if for no other reason than to establish a baseline for behavior. Keeping notes and sharing your observations with other family members will help you know when it's time for outside help.
Signs That Indicate an Elderly Parent Needs Extra Care
1. Attention to Personal Hygiene
If you notice a lack of attention to grooming, it may be that bathing has become challenging, and your loved one is skipping the shower. Not bathing regularly can lead to skin infections such as eczema, staph, or ringworm, while neglecting dental health can cause gum disease.
2. Fall Hazards and Unexplained Bruising
A home is a relative minefield for someone who is no longer steady on their feet. Step-in bathtubs, area rugs, slippery floors, and stairs are some standard home features that can create fall hazards for elderly loved ones. When they fall, they often bruise easily—but may not realize the bruising as they can't see it. Seniors will try to explain away bumps and bruises, but they are a definite sign that it's time to slip-proof the house and initiate hiring a caregiver.
3. Rotting Food
Spoiled food in the fridge and pantry is a good indication that your senior parent needs help. There are several issues here—maybe they can't safely drive to the grocery store, they aren't aware that the food has gone bad, or they simply aren't eating. Any of these is a warning sign that your parent's health is at risk without some assistance.
4. Unpaid Bills and Unopened Mail
If you see stacks of unopened mail when you visit, there's a good chance that your parent isn't paying bills or responding to time-sensitive correspondence, such as financial or medical information.
5. Lack of Interest in Life
When active seniors indicate a loss of interest in hobbies and activities or don't show interest in interacting with friends and family, they may be depressed or lonely.
Senior Helpers Provides Help With Routine Tasks and Socialization
Trust Senior Helpers Texas Hill Country for dependable companion care at home. Our professional caregivers can assist your senior loved one with daily tasks that will improve their quality of life while maintaining their independence. Let us customize a care plan to match your elderly loved one's needs. Contact us to learn more about our in-home services if you live near San Antonio, New Braunfels, Boerne, Cibolo, Bexar County, or Canyon Lake.