It is often difficult for people to admit they need help, especially when it comes to parents.
Aging parents may feel that asking for extra help in their lives means that they lose their freedom. Instead, adult children need to be on the lookout for signs that their parents need help and, when the time is right, talk to their loved ones about getting in-home support.
Emphasizing that a little extra help does not mean leaving their home or loss of freedom can make all the difference in how loved ones perceive in-home care. Approach in-home care as an enhancement of their quality of life!
Watch for these signs that aging parents may need help at home.
Elderly couples have a special bond. They’ve been through a lifetime together and usually have each other’s backs. It may seem hard to notice, as it is the natural progression for such a relationship, but as mom or dad begin to fail in memory (or any other facet of life), the other will often pick up their slack to help them out. While this is great, it can also hide certain problems that may be cropping up, so be sure to watch out for it.
Two of the most prominent issues for the elderly are brittle bones and lack of mobility. A small trip or fall could mean a broken bone, surgery, or – if they are alone when it happens – even death. For the elderly, broken bones and surgery are far more difficult to recover from than for young people. Having in-home care can lessen the likelihood of and damage caused by such incidents.
Take a look in the fridge and the cabinets. Are they bare? Take a look at mom and dad. Are they looking thin and/or frail? Nearly everyone’s appetite changes with age and the ability to cook may go away, as well. It’s important to know that your parents get the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
This can be difficult to detect, especially if parents and children don’t live near one another. If this is the case, pay special attention. Check if mom or dad are uninterested in hobbies and activities that used to interest them. Notice their appetite and their general appearance, as depression can be a part of dementia or other degenerative diseases.
Are appointments being forgotten? Are mom and dad forgetting to pay bills? Maybe they have begun to repeat themselves or put their belongings down in bizarre places. What about their medications? Are they taking the right dose? Are they taking it at all? Forgetfulness can be scary. A degree of it comes naturally with age, but it can also be a precursor to something more serious, like dementia.
These are not the only signs that aging parents need help. There really is no specific criteria that they need to fit in order for in-home care to be on the radar.
The main takeaway is this: pay attention to your parents and how they are doing and look for the changes mentioned above, as well as any other unusual behaviors or changes. Follow through and talk to mom and dad about these things that are changing.
We all want the best for our parents and for them to get the most out of life all the way through, so be sure to keep the conversation light and positive, as well! Contact Senior Helpers to find a program to help your parents keep their dignity, lifestyle, and independence!