Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When Does Your Senior Parent Need More Assistance?

When a parent prefers to age in place, there are many things you can do to help support them and make living at home as easy as possible. One of those things is to look for signs that they may need additional assistance or in-home care. As parents age and live on their own, they may begin to face new mobility and medical issues that make it more difficult to perform daily activities. 
But there are some easy-to-spot signs that can help you identify their changing needs. When it comes to home care, Asheville families can start by looking for these common signals, so they can act fast and offer support to help their parents in any way they need. Here are some signs that your parents might benefit from additional assistance around their house.
The home is more cluttered than usual. If your parents tend to keep a clean home but suddenly it has become more disorganized, this might be a warning sign. They could begin to lose interest in keeping up a neat house, which is an especially important signal if your parent has always been orderly.
Missing appointments. Not being able to access proper transportation, or being unable to drive might lead an elderly loved one to miss important appointments. They may need assistance in getting to and from medical visits, social gatherings, or other meet-ups that are important to them and their health.
Reduced hygiene. Unkempt hair, long finger nails, poor dental care, body odor, or wearing the same clothes without washing could be signs that your loved one is having difficulty maintaining their hygiene. They could be afraid of falling in a tub or shower, or painful joints might make it difficult to open soap bottles. 
Bills or mail is piling up. The act of opening or filing mail might become too overwhelming, or paying bills on time has become difficult. Over time, managing a bank account could also become too much for an elderly loved one to handle. Take note if mail seems unusually disorganized.
Food in the home is spoiled or left uneaten. Cooking, cleaning, or shopping could become difficult to do. Painful joints, impaired driving, or weakened vision could all make it more challenging to do these tasks. Food could be forgotten about, not taken care of properly, or uneaten food might signal a poor appetite. 
Scorched pans or pots. Short-term memory loss could make it easy to forget about food on the stove. This could be a warning sign that your loved one is having difficulty remembering things; it could also be a dangerous fire hazard. 
Unusual behavior. Consider if neighbors have noticed anything unusual about your loved one. For example, he or she might be dressing inappropriately for the seasonal weather. Uncharacteristic behavior might signal confusion and that your parent could benefit from some extra help around the house. 
Not addressing home maintenance needs. A parent might not recognize the need to fix a problem, like a leaky pipe or a broken door. Even if they acknowledge the problem, they may not call to schedule repairs. Look for unkempt lawns, old trash piling up, or piled up mail outside the home. 
If any of these signs are present, consider if your parent would enjoy having some extra help around the home. When providing elder care, Asheville families should start by heeding these signals and finding ways to help their parents get around more easily and safely by offering more comprehensive assistance. 

1 comment:

  1. My siblings and I have had this conversation plenty of times. This blog was great because it literally gave checkpoints that we need to cover with our mom. Looking over these, it must be time that we have her get more assistance. She just isn't able to preform any of her daily activities like she used to. Thanks for the great help and advice. http://www.comforcare.com/fort-worth/senior-home-care-in-fort-worth-tx