Determining when your parent needs more help can be difficult, especially if they have turned help away in the past. When your aging parent doesn’t reside in the same household as you, it can sometimes be difficult to pick up on the small signs that they may be struggling. However, there are some key indicators you can look out for to determine if they may need more help than they are currently getting.
- Having a cluttered or dirty house
We can all understand what it’s like to be busy and not have enough time to clean the house on a daily basis. However, there’s a difference between a thin layer of dust piling on a shelf and piles of mail, trash, and newspapers that haven’t been touched in weeks. If you begin to notice chores piling up, things not being put back in their place, or even rotting groceries that haven’t been thrown out, it could likely be due to a deeper problem.
- Lack of energy
If you notice your parent seems much less energetic than they used to, or notice they are having mood swings and don’t seem like themself, it may be something to take note of. Keep track of if they are taking their medications on time, are more forgetful than usual, or are showing a lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy. All of these can be signs of a memory problem that needs to be addressed sooner than later.
- Leaving yardwork unattended
This is one of the easiest signs to notice, since it doesn’t require more than stopping or driving by your parent’s home. As your parents grow older, chores that require physical activity can become more difficult, and they may no longer be able to complete these tasks.
- Changes in personal hygiene
Does your loved one appear to be wearing the same clothes over and over without washing them? Do you notice a lack of upkeep in their physical appearance like simply brushing their hair or teeth?
- Poor eating habits
If you’ve noticed a significant and rapid weight change in your parent, it can be a sign that they need more help. If they are often skipping meals, or only eating fast food, it may be time for them to get additional assistance.
- Unexplained bruising
If you notice changes on your parent’s body like cuts, scrapes or bruises, they may be falling when no one is around which can put them at an incredible risk for injury.
If you notice any of these signs in your senior loved one, it may be time to sit with them and have a discussion about next steps. Perhaps living in a community like Collington, where they can get extra assistance while maintaining their independence would be the right fit for them.