Many children or friends want to know when they should look for extra support for their senior loved one. While the signs aging parents need help may be different for each individual, there are some fairly universal indicators.
7 Signs Aging Parents Need Help
1. Their House Looks Disheveled
If your loved one seems to care less about the cleanliness or tidiness of their house, they may not have the energy or range of motion needed for everyday chores.
2. They Aren’t Keeping up Their Appearance
Your loved one may wear the same clothes again and again. They may not have bathed or brushed their teeth. Signs of deteriorated self-care could mean a senior doesn’t feel safe bathing themselves or they’re feeling depressed.
3. Their Weight Is Fluctuating
A senior who doesn’t feel comfortable cooking for themselves may eat less or may default to eating less healthy food. A distinct change in diet can cause noticeable weight gain or loss.
4. They Become Less Responsible with Their Money
This sign won’t look the same for every senior. Some seniors may stop paying their bills or they may bounce checks. They could also give away money or valuables more often than is typical for them.
5. They Have Big Mood Swings
You may notice your loved one acting different than they usually do. Significant changes in behavior could be signs of underlying pain or discomfort, health concerns or depression.
6. They’ve Withdrawn from Social Activities
Decreased mobility can keep seniors at home and away from meaningful social connections. If your loved one is pulling back from volunteer jobs, book clubs or lunches with friends, they may need added support.
7. They’ve Become More Forgetful
We all have memory lapses from time to time, but if a senior is missing important appointments, forgetting to take their medications, or leaving the stove on, their health and home safety may suffer.
How to Find the Right Help
If you’ve noticed signs your aging parents need help, you still may be at a loss for how to proceed. First, talk with your senior loved one. It’s not uncommon for seniors to feel reluctant to accept or seek additional support. Express your concerns for their well-being and home safety, and listen with an open mind to their point of view. Include other important loved ones in the senior’s life in the conversation.
You (and your loved one, if they’re amenable), can start looking into support options without rushing into a decision. Your loved one may feel most comfortable with a caregiver coming to their residence. This can be a great intermediate step, but as the senior’s needs increase, you’ll likely have to look for more specialized caregivers or residential options with higher levels of care.
If you look into assisted living at a Life Care Community, your loved one can receive the care they need today to live as independently as possible, and they’ll have higher levels of care on-site if their needs change. With one move, the senior has a smart plan for present and future health care, as well as the vibrant lifestyle and social opportunities a community affords.
If you’re noticing signs your aging parents need help and considering senior living in Houston, Texas, The Buckingham offers a full continuum of care and high-end hospitality.