Aging In Place

1/4/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Aging parents aren’t always communicative and open about the challenges they face while living independently. They might not want to worry you, or they could be embarrassed to acknowledge that they can no longer handle all their daily activities.

If you communicate with a parent or loved one from a distance, you might be missing the signs that indicate help is needed. Because of this, it might be a good idea to pass up the weekly phone call for a personal visit. By showing up in-person, you will be better positioned to see the signs that support or assistance is required. In-home care offers regular support with various day-to-day tasks, in addition to companionship.

Here are ten signs that your aging parent needs home care.

1. Changes in their appearance

When aging parents stop taking care of their appearance, it could be cause for concern. Personal hygiene issues can put an older adult at risk for health problems, so it’s important to broach the subject with them, no matter how awkward it might be. Find out if it is difficult for them to bathe, or maybe they have a fear of falling in the tub or shower. A home caregiver might be just what is needed to put things right.

2. A house that is no longer tidy and clean

If a normally fastidious parent has allowed the inside of their house to become dirty or cluttered, this could be a sign that they need help keeping things clean. Mold in the bathroom and dirty dishes in the kitchen can become health risks. In-home care could be the ideal solution for keeping things organized and sanitary.

3. Different moods or behavior

If you have noticed a significant change in an older adult’s mood, they may need continuous in-home care. In addition to mood changes, be aware of some of the common symptoms of early dementia – signs that your parent needs home care and might not be safe at home alone:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Increased agitation
  • Abusive behaviors

4. An empty refrigerator or pantry

Seniors might not eat as much as they once did, but there should still be an inventory of healthy food in the house. If there isn’t, it could be because they do not trust driving to the store or they don’t remember to shop for groceries. Either way, an in-home caregiver can manage the shopping and ensure that a loved one continually has fresh and healthy food on hand.

5. They have minor health concerns

In-home care is often the answer for seniors with minor health problems. Caregivers can remind older adults to take their medications. They can also assist with routine tasks, like housekeeping or dressing, where arthritis or an injured back makes these activities difficult and painful.

6. You find a stack of unpaid bills

If your parent or loved one can afford to pay their bills, but they remain unpaid, this could be a sign of memory loss. A professional caregiver can be there to remind them and help them avoid an embarrassing and potentially dangerous situation such as having their electricity turned off.

7. They have lost their social life

The so-called golden years could be more aptly referred to as the lonely years when older adults’ friends are no longer around to spend time with them. Losing their ability to drive also prevents many seniors from having a social life. Not only can in-home caregivers offer companionship, but they can also provide transportation to get seniors to places where they can socialize with others.

8. They have unexplained bruises

If you see bruises, wounds, or burns on an aging loved one’s body, it could mean they have fallen, are having trouble walking, or are experiencing problems while cooking – and a major sign that your parent needs home care. In-home care can eliminate these dangers and help keep an elderly loved one safe.

9. Weight loss

Like an empty pantry, noticeable weight loss can be a sign of poor diet and difficulties with cooking, eating, or shopping for food. A caregiver can ensure that proper meals will result in a return to a healthy weight.

10. Unfilled prescriptions

Many seniors forget to take their medications or get prescriptions filled. They need the help of an in-home caregiver to give them reminders and pick up their meds at the pharmacy.

If you see any of the signs listed above and think that, in fact, your parent needs home care, talk with your loved one about hiring a professional caregiver. They can provide the resources they need to stay independent and healthy.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff