Having a conversation about long-term care plans with a parent is never easy. It is hard to decide whether an elderly parent can live safely in a home on his or her own or not.
A parent may be struggling to accomplish day-to-day activities but this does not necessarily mean moving. It just means that he or she is no longer able to live independently and safely without some assistance.
Assistance can come in many forms. Tandem Careplanning is a company that offers various types of in-home care. You are guided through the process of finding and managing suitable caregivers to make sure your loved one is comfortable, independent, and stays in the best physical and mental health.
Here are some of the warning signs that your parents may be in need of assistance.
- Unpaid bills are piling up
Opening and responding to mail may feel overwhelming, especially if a parent’s eyesight is deteriorating. This can result in overdue bills, disconnected utilities and issues with creditors.
- Increasing reluctance to leave the house
Older adults who are having trouble seeing, walking or remembering directions may start pulling away from friends and isolating themselves. If this is unresolved, it can lead to depression, loneliness and other health issues.
- Losing interest in preparing or eating meals
Older adults may find it increasingly difficult to prepare meals and eat properly. They may start to lose weight due to poor eating habits. A badly stocked refrigerator or rotten food may be an indication that an aging person is not eating enough nutritious food.
- Neglecting personal hygiene
Wearing clothes for days on end or clothes that are inappropriate for the weather, unkempt hair, body odor and unshaved faces are some easily visible signs that assistance is required.
This may be happening because doing laundry or getting in and out of the bath or shower has become too physically challenging. People who live alone often fear slipping, falling and not being able to get up again.
- Declining driving skills
Scratches and bumps on a car may be signs of deteriorating driving skills. This can be a result of less ability to see or hear, slower reflexes, driving well below the speed limit, having an increasingly poor sense of direction or feeling disoriented.
- Burnt pots and pans
Burnt pots and pans may be a sign of short-term memory loss. Pots that are burnt have probably been forgotten on the stove. Besides the danger of falls, the risk of a fire is often one of the major concerns families of older adults face.
- Symptoms of depression
Depression can cause changes in routine and behavior over time. Many older adults feel isolated, especially when health conditions prevent them from doing things they previously enjoyed. Feelings of despair, changes in sleeping patterns, hopelessness, listlessness and a lack of interest in normal activities are just some of the symptoms of depression.
- Missed appointments and social engagements
This may be a symptom of memory loss or the result of not having transportation. A parent may not know how to access available transportation options.
- A messy house
From dirty dishes to dirty laundry, everyday tasks can become difficult or tiring to handle. This is particularly troubling if a parent used to be very house proud and always kept the home neat and orderly.
- Losing track of medications
Mistakes in taking medication (missing doses or overdosing) can result in serious medical complications. Most of the elderly have to take a number of pills, which can be quite overwhelming without some assistance.