It’s never easy watching our parents age. We begin our lives believing they can do anything, then, slowly, things change and we realize they’re frail humans just like everyone else. As they grow older, their limitation become greater and greater until they can no longer live entirely on their own.
Five Signs Your Parents Need Extra Help at Home
Determining exactly when your parents cross this threshold is never easy, and every situation is different. But here are five signs you can look for which may indicate your parents need a little extra help continuing to live independently.
- They’ve Become Forgetful: Have you noticed your parents searching for a name they should remember or missing important appointments or events altogether? This could be an early sign of cognitive decline, which is a hallmark condition of aging.
- They Neglect their Appearance or Personal Hygiene: As we age, we lose mobility and energy. This can cause some seniors to forgo certain tasks like bathing or getting regular haircuts or cutting their toe or fingernails. This is more than just a social issue, however. Personal hygiene plays an important role in overall health, so if your older parent is letting themselves go, it could cause much more serious health problems in the long run.
- They’re Neglecting Medical Needs: Getting to and from the doctor’s office requires a lot of time, energy, and motivation. If your older parent suffers from mobility issues and reduced energy, they may be ignoring the regular medical care they need to stay healthy.
- They’re Exhibiting Personality Changes: Is your once-happy and friendly parent now sullen and depressed? Or have they ever uncharacteristically lashed out in anger or frustration? These sometimes subtle personality changes can be a sign of larger underlying problems like dementia or other cognitive disorders. These changes can also be a sign your parent is feeling worried about a new age-related vulnerability.
- They Have Trouble Performing Routine Tasks: Is your previously competent parent now unable to perform routine tasks like making their own meals, doing basic household chores, or paying their own bills? If so, this could be a sign that they need extra help living independently.
If you notice any of the above signs, you should certainly dig a little deeper. Start by making an appointment with their primary care provider for a check-up to rule out any underlying causes. Once that step is complete, it may be time to get your parent a little help around the house.
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
Some adult children worry about the costs that come with in-home care. They believe there’s no way they or their aging parent can afford a home health aide. As a result, they either ignore the problem until they’re forced to take action or they try to provide all the help themselves.
In truth, in home care is likely much less expensive than they believe. Seniors often benefit greatly from just a few hours of daily care. And when compared with the cost of full-time inpatient care at a nursing home, in-home care is downright affordable. Hiring a professional caregiver also relieves family caregivers of the incredible stress that comes with caring for a family member. That reduction in stress is so important and impossible to quantify in dollars.
So if you notice your older parent exhibiting any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to take action. Because if you don’t, the situation will likely only get worse.
About Generations Home Care
If your older parents lives in Arizona, Generations Home Care can help provide the quality in-home care and support services seniors need to live fuller, healthier, independent lives.
We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We take a holistic approach and emphasize a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.