There will come a time when your aging parents will need help.
When the roles are reversed and now it is your time to take care of your parents, it can be difficult to know when to step in.
In this article, we will go over 9 of the initial signs of your parents needing assistance. Keep reading to know what to look out for.
1. Mobility Difficulties
Does it seem that your parents are having trouble walking, getting up from a chair, don’t go out much?
If so, inspect the home. Is there anything preventing them from living life easily? Barriers of entry to rooms, bathroom, shower? Slippery tiles or broken floors? Is the staircase just weird?
If your parent is experiencing physical ailments or pains within the body – it might be time to get an assistant device, such as a walker or cane.
Are your parents having trouble walking or getting up from a chair? Look at your parents’ home: Is the staircase awkward to navigate, are there slippery tiles, does the furniture create obstacles or are they having trouble getting in and out of the shower? Muscle, joint pain, or trouble with knees might indicate that a cane or walker is necessary.
Visit your doctor together, discuss their mobility, and make any necessary modifications to assist their everyday life.
2. Appetite Loss
Are your parents not cooking, not eating, or eating unhealthily? Are they dehydrated and losing weight?
There are many reasons for this. For instance, they might not be able to read labels, might have trouble holding objects, or have troubled physical senses of taste and smell.
Check the fridge for outdated food, make sure they are drinking water all throughout the day. Hire a caregiver or prepare meals on your own. Consider meal delivery.
Are your parents forgetting things? Bill payments? Appointments? Are they getting lost? Repeating phrases or losing items?
An assessment of their cognitive function is important, once you know what is happening, you will know how to help them. Without knowing – you’re just picking at stones, and in fact – can make the situation worse than it is.
Go to the doctor, have them evaluated, and hire a caregiver to assist with transportation and medication if needed.
4. Personality Changes
Does your parent’s personality change often? Are they talking excessive loud or quiet? Are they accusing others of things that didn’t happen? Are they presenting odd behaviors?
This might be caused by late-day confusion or sundowning. Plan activities with indirect exposure to the sun, and keep a nightlight on to help with agitation.
If this doesn’t help, contact a physician. Determine supportive strategies.
5. Not Involved
Does it seem like your parents are less active, avoiding social activity, dwindling in life? Lack of involvement is a great identifier for you to step in.
Find out why they no longer participate in activities that bring enjoyment. Address medical issues, and provide transportation if that is a barrier for entry.
A senior living space might be great for a lack of social activity. Learn how to find a great living community for your aging parents.
6. Poor Hygiene
Are they not following basic hygiene? Not brushing teeth? Not showering? No longer getting haircuts? Not changing clothes? Are they lacking awareness of their appearance?
Ask them about it. There might be a financial issue or transportation barrier to a supply/clothing store. Or perhaps a greater medical concern that might need another resolve.
7. Ailments & Disabilities
Are your parents suffering from some sort of ailment or disability? Do they have Parkinson’s disease or strokes? It might be time to keep them active and social despite their disabilities.
They might have any number of ailments that you are not aware of, so it’s best to visit a doctor who can determine the presence of any issues that might be decreasing their quality of life.
Get them housekeeping and transportation services to improve their quality of life.
8. Too Much Clutter
Is their laundry dirty? Is the mailbox overstocked? Is the house dirty and unkempt? Is the lawn mowed? All of these tasks are tedious and difficult when you have trouble moving, and or lacking the energy of youth.
Home maintenance can become daunting at an old age. Help them out with a housekeeper, lawn service, or provide a caregiver. If you are unable to do this on your own, look for help.
9. Physical Damage
Do they have scratches, burns, bumps, or bruises? Are they negligent of them or hiding something?
The home might need some sort of modification to help prevent unnecessary trauma. Make sure they are safe and still able to live on their own. If you need to, have them move in with you or vice versa.
Aging Parents – Your Responsibility
Now you know what signs to look out for in aging parents, that scream you need to come in and help them out. You are well on your way to recognizing any potential threats and life-dwindling issues in advance before they get out of hand.
Much like your parents cared for you during your younger days – it is your turn to care for them in their older days. Family is an exchange of energy in its purest form.
If you’re interested in assisted living, independent living or memory care for your aging parents – check out the new facilities in Flowood, MS, and Brandon, MS (Rankin County), which provides all of that and more.