Reflecting on this past holiday season, if you were able to visit in-person with an aging parent, did it feel like this visit was long overdue? Even though technology has enabled many of us to remain connected, when we are present physically, there are certain things that are easier to notice in person.
When you are visiting with your aging parent in person you can pay attention to even the tiniest detail. Often, it is the small changes that can make the biggest impact on longevity or the ability to age in place, and these small changes can alert you that something is seriously wrong. As an example, when your parent is dealing with day-to-day tasks, physical impairments may reveal that your aging parent may need in-home care.
We know this can be a challenging time for you and your parent. We would like to review six significant changes that may mean it is time for your parent to get some in-home care help.
1. You can see that your parent is now having trouble getting around the house. Are there mobility issues you are noticing that may not have been present the last time you visited? Is your parent moving with apprehension or caution? Is your parent bracing him- or herself on the furniture? These may be signs that your parent does not feel able to move safely around the house.
2. Managing his or her medications has become troublesome. Is the medicine cabinet in disorder? Are expired prescriptions lying around? These two examples may be signs that your parent may be having difficulty managing medications, which can be dangerous on a number of levels.
3. For the first time, does your parent’s house look like it is uncared for? Is the living space messy or unkempt looking? In the kitchen, is there expired food or no food at all? Managing a living space, as well as being able to provide yourself with proper nutrition, can be a big task for anyone, but it may be increasingly difficult as you age.
4. Proper hygiene no longer seems to be a priority for your parent. If you have noticed that your parent seems unkempt, then he or she may be struggling with maintaining proper hygiene habits. Your parent may feel unsafe showering or has simply let hygiene habits fall by the wayside.
5. Your parent may be reaching an age when he or she needs to stop driving. Are there any new dents in your parent’s vehicle? Does he or she express concerns about driving safely on the road? While giving up driving can be a difficult thing to confront, it may be necessary to keep your loved one and others on the road safe.
6. Your parent’s social life has declined. Social isolation can be a real problem, even when there is not a pandemic. If your parent seems extremely lonely, to the point where he or she may be depressed, this can be a big red flag that he or she may need some in-home help.
An in-home care coordinator can assist your parent in managing day-to-day life. He or she may be able to rearrange the living spaces and oversee the installation of safety devices to assist in your parent being able to safely navigate the house. Should you need assistance with addressing the long-term care needs of your parent or aging loved one as well as related legal matters, our office remains committed to serving you in any way we can. Please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.