5 Signs Your Parents Need At-Home Care
Once we move out of our parent’s home, it’s not quite as easy to follow the progression of their old age. For family members who live close by it may be easier to notice the changes in an aging individual, but for others the signs may not be as obvious. Even if your parents assure you that they do not need any assistance at home, you may be under the impression that they require some extra help. It doesn’t even have to be that your parents need to move to a nursing home. Even short visits with at-home assistance could be all they need. If you’re not sure if at-home care is necessary, try to look for the following 5 signs, which might be tell-tale signs that your parents need assistance:
1. MISSING APPOINTMENTS/EVENTS
Many individuals will experience some level of amnesia as they get older, and one result of this is missed appointments, phone calls, and events. If your parents are usually very good at remembering their schedule and places they need to be, then this could be a sign that they need some help organizing themselves and working on their memory and brain function.
2. POORLY-CLEANED HOME
It may become too difficult for your aging parents to keep the whole house clean on their own, but this doesn’t mean that they need to move out. If you notice that the home is dirtier than usual in very obvious spots, then it’s a good idea to consider at-home care to help them keep their home clean and livable. Signs to look for include dust in obvious spots, spoiled food in the fridge, overflowing garbage, etc. If you know that your parents are regularly very tidy, then this could be a sign they need some help at home with the more physical tasks of the day.
3. DIFFICULTY WITH MOBILITY
As old age sets in, you may notice small signs that your parents are having trouble getting around like they used to. Balance and mobility are two of the things that may suffer as parents become older, and this can be very dangerous for the elderly, especially if they live alone. Look for signs of slowing down. See if they have a hard time getting up and down stairs, and off of chairs, and whether they need to hold on to something for balance. A lot of the time their home is not suited to their level of mobility anymore (lots of stairs, small pathways for maneuvering, etc.) so keep an eye out for changes in their ability to move around the home and how they carry themselves.
4. UNEXPLAINED BRUISING
As we get older, our bodies are more prone to easy bruising from interaction with the physical world. Your parents may want to consider quality at-home care if they have bruises, cuts and scrapes that they cannot explain. These injuries can be from falls, bumping into furniture, tripping, etc. If you notice that they have a lot of injuries, you will want to consider having someone visit them daily and help take care of tasks that may be causing them injury. Something as simple as changing a lightbulb or vacuuming could be very harmful to their health, so keep an eye out for signs of unexplained injury.
5. POOR HYGIENE
One very clear sign that aging parents need some at-home care is poor personal hygiene. Many aging individuals either cannot or forget to take care of themselves, while others simply have no interest in doing it anymore. If they are not taking care of themselves, they may have greasy, unkempt hair, dirty clothing, or very poor body odor. It is important that older individuals keep themselves clean to ward off disease, but if they are unable or unwilling, then it is certainly time to bring in someone who can help them. At-home caregivers will be able to give them baths, take care of their medications, and help them change outfits on a daily basis. Look for the physical signs of poor hygiene, and make sure that they’re changing their clothes and doing their laundry regularly if you’re unsure about at-home care. While many elderly individuals will swear that they can take care of themselves, at some point they will need to seek care from others. Whether it is at-home care, assisted living or something similar, it is a completely normal process of life and they should not be ashamed. If you have someone in your family that you think needs at-home care, then it is important to speak to them at their level of understanding and with the utmost respect. Let them know that your worries are coming from a place of love and care, and that you only want to help make their lives safer and more comfortable. There is nothing wrong with aging, but make sure to pay attention to the signs to give your aging parents the help they need.