There are almost 50 million Americans aged 65 and older in the United States today. And though many of them are healthy and able, a great portion of them are entering a stage where their age is bringing many new challenges. They might find that they’re less able to care for themselves like they’re used to.
If you have elderly parents, it can be hard watching them struggle to perform daily tasks or manage basic household functions. But sometimes it’s hard to tell when it’s time to seek additional help.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the most common signs that it’s time to look into home healthcare services for your aging parents:
1. They Have Trouble Keeping Track of Important Bills and Information
If your elderly parents are struggling to stay on top of deadlines, paying their bills, or managing important documents, they might need some additional help.
As people age, many of them lose their focus and their ability to keep track of things. If your parents are having a hard time with this, you can look into getting them some home care assistance.
2. Your Elderly Parents Are Neglecting Household Maintenance
Are your parents neglecting household maintenance such as mowing the yard, tending to the garden, dusting, vacuuming, or letting the mail stack up?
They might be unable to take care of all these basic duties, whether due to a lack of physical ability or mental ability to remember all these tasks.
3. The Ability to Drive Safely Is Becoming an Issue
Are your elderly parents experiencing more traffic violations or accidents? Do they get honked at frequently on the roads, or run stop signs or red lights more often than before?
Their vision may deteriorate if they’re having problems driving safely or getting lost in familiar areas. ‘They could seriously injure others on the roads, including themselves, unless they get the help they need.
4. They Aren’t Eating Regularly
You might notice that your parents are showing less interest in preparing and eating meals. Maybe it starts with not eating at regular times and then they miss meals completely.
You might notice that as you check their pantry and fridge that the quality and variety of food options are poor or scarce. Perhaps many of their produce is expired.
Regular home care can help ease your concern about your parents in this situation. Choosing home care that you can trust will make all the difference.
5. Their Personal Hygiene Is Suffering
Keep an eye out for bad hygiene, including dirty nails, poor oral hygiene, unbrushed hair, the smell of urine, body odor, or wearing the same clothes day after day.
One of the first things that many elderly people neglect first is their appearance and hygienic care. They may need regular help taking care of themselves.
6. They’re Reluctant to Leave the House
Have your parents become less likely to ever want to leave the house? Are they avoiding leaving their home even to see family members and friends?
They might also be sleeping more than usual and showing a lack of interest in their usual activities and hobbies that they once enjoyed.
7. They’re Losing Their Mobility
Past a certain age, walking on the unsteady, unlevel ground can become a real challenge. Walking up and down the stairs can also prove to be difficult.
If your elderly parents are mentioning dizziness, or if they fall while walking, their mobility is probably compromised. They will need assistance moving around day today, which is where professional home care can help.
8. Their Judgement Becomes Clouded
Your parents may be a danger to themselves and others if they’re making unsound decisions. Some of these might include forgetting to turn off the stovetop, leaving a faucet running, or neglecting to shut doors or windows.
This clouded thinking can keep your parents from recognizing an emergency or knowing how to react in dangerous situations. Clouded judgment is a big sign that it’s time to seek additional care.
9. Losing Track of Their Medications
If your parents forget to take their medication or take the wrong doses at the wrong times, this is a serious health concern that could lead to hospitalization. Even overdosing one time can be disastrous for an older adult.
Your parents’ inability to safely manage their medications is a big reason to seek professional home care. A home-care hospice worker can manage and administer medications for your parent or parents so that you don’t have to worry about them getting the dosage wrong.
10. Change in Personality
Have you noticed that your parent’s personality seems to have changed? Are they speaking too loudly or too softly? Maybe they’re accusing others of saying or doing things that they haven’t done, or displaying other odd behaviors.
This shift in behavior and personality can be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease and an indicator that your parent or parents shouldn’t be left alone to care for themselves.
In-home care can manage their worrisome behavior and make sure they aren’t engaging in activity that could cause them harm.
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