If you are concerned that your aging parents are not as independent as they once were, there are some signs you might want to look for on your next visit. While the truth may be painful, getting them the help that they need can be lifesaving. Here are some things to look for when visiting.
Find Unpaid Bills
You are frugal with your money because your parents taught you to always pay your bills on time. Yet, when you go home, you discover piles of unpaid bills. You may know that your parents still have the money to pay them, so this may be a case of forgetfulness. After accessing which bills must be paid immediately, consider getting them help. This can be a sign that dementia is claiming their memory.
Your parents may no longer be keeping the house as clean as they once did. If you see lots of clutter and griminess, then there can be several things going on. Your parents may not be seeing as well as they once did. They may also be losing their ability to bend over and reach the floor, so things lay where they fall. Alternatively, your parents may feel depressed and not care anymore.
Observe No Fresh Food
While everyone let’s mold develop on food in their refrigerator occasionally, consistently seeing mold in your parent’s refrigerator can be a sign that parents are not an independent as they once were. Additionally, the lack of fresh food in the refrigerator may indicate that they have not gone shopping lately. Sometimes, this may indicate that there are underlying money issues. More often, however, it indicates that they are not getting to the grocery store to shop because of mobility issues. It may also indicate the start of dementia where following recipes or performing basic cooking steps becomes more difficult.
Observe a Lack of Personal Hygiene
A lack of taking care of themselves is often a sign of lack of independence in seniors. They may be depressed, and they no longer care how they look. They may have lost interest in life and think their personal appearance no longer matters. Alternatively, they may find the effort to get to the beauty shop to strenuous. If you see your parents looking messy, then they may need help.
They Keep Getting Hurt
Falling down can be a very dangerous thing for senior citizens to experience. Often, the results can be painful and life-altering—having a huge impact on the quality of their life for the remainder of their days. If your aging parents have been experiencing falls, step in and take action. Install railings along the side of the hallway walls. Place grip mats in the bathroom and kitchen areas as well as in any other room with a slippery surface.
Make sure that there aren’t any places in their living space where they’d have to walk farther than they are able to handle without stopping or holding onto something. If there is a big room—such as a living room—that they frequent, keep a walker in there that they can easily access. If the measures that you take aren’t enough to keep them safe, then a care facility may be what is needed.
It can be tough to discover that your parents need more help. Finding quality aged care can be a relief for them and you.