Family Gatherings May Reveal Truths About Aging Parents

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When spending time around your aging parents, you might wonder if it’s time to get them some additional assistance with their daily activities. Odd or unsafe behavior, confusion over medications, and other concerns might have you and other family members wondering if it’s unsafe for your parents to be left alone. The following 10 warning signs are indicators that someone needs assistance with daily living.

1. Mail and bills are left to pile up.

The simple act of opening and filing mail become overwhelming. Managing a checking account can also become too much for a parent to handle.

2. The house is cluttered or unkempt.

This is especially troubling if a parent has always been neat and orderly.

3. Food in the refrigerator is uneaten or spoiled.

Shopping, cooking, and cleaning become too much trouble. A parent might eat just enough to get by, but suffer nutritionally. Losing weight can be another sign that a parent is not eating a nutritious diet.

4. Signs of scorching on the bottoms of pots and pans.

A result of short-term memory loss, this is a dangerous sign that parents are forgetting about pots left on the stove, causing a fire hazard, and threatening both the individual’s and the surrounding neighbor’s safety.

5. The parent wears the same clothing over and over again and has other personal hygiene issues.

Doing laundry has become physically challenging, particularly if the washing machine is in the basement. Or there may be a fear of falling in the tub or shower.

6. Missed doctor’s appointments.

Sometimes this is simply a product of not having transportation and not knowing how to access ride options.

7. Repeated phone calls at odd hours.

When a parent calls friends or family at odd hours, it may be a sign of memory loss or even a cry for help. Arranging for a daily check-in phone call, a regular volunteer visitor, or getting involved with a local senior center, could make all the difference.

8. Forgetting to take medication.

A sign of short-term memory loss or depression, this isn’t just a quality of life issue, but a real risk factor.

9. Inappropriate behavior, clothing or speech.

You may hear about this from a neighbor, someone who has noticed that your parent is not dressing appropriately for the weather, for instance. That’s a sign that he or she might be confused.

10. Symptoms of depression.

A frequent problem for many older people who feel isolated or alone, like a prisoner in their own homes, is depression which causes changes in behavior and routine. Feelings of hopelessness, lack of interest in once pleasurable activities, crying, listlessness, and not wanting to get dressed can all be indications of a problem.

When you decide assistance would be helpful or is even necessary, there are many options. Aging-in-place with home care, private caregivers, assisted living, and board-and-care are a few of the most popular solutions. Many people prefer to age-in-place and it’s certainly possible to do with some assistance. We can help you understand the options that are available. Contact Us for a complimentary in-home assessment.


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Family Gatherings May Reveal Truths About Aging Parents When spending time around your aging parents, you might wonder if it’s time to get them some additional assistance with their daily activities. Odd or unsafe behavior, confusion over medications, and other concerns might have you and other family members wondering if it’s unsafe...