Recognizing that your aging parent may need home care isn’t easy. They may be slowing down physically or not remembering things as quickly and easily as they once did, and it’s natural to want to be certain they need home care before discussing it with them.
Here are six signs that can help you decide if now is the right time to bring in a caregiver:
Poor personal hygiene
Your parent’s clothes may be soiled more often, which may also be contributing to another indicator that they’re not tending to their personal hygiene like they once did: body odor. Declining hygiene can be caused by physical issues, like trouble getting in and out of the tub, making it difficult for them to stay clean. Memory problems may also be causing them to forget to take care of personal needs like bathing and brushing their teeth.
Signs that your parent’s driving skills aren’t what they should be are additional dents on the car, multiple traffic tickets for speeding and other moving violations, and an increasing number of fender benders. If you’re worried about them being safe behind the wheel, go for a drive with them and observe their driving skills.
Noticeable loss of weight
A weight change of 10% or more can indicate problems with diet and eating. Your mom or dad may be eating less because meal preparation has become too difficult for them. Depression may also be affecting their appetite. Drop-in on them during mealtime and see if they’re having difficulty cooking. Also, see if they’re stocking the fridge and pantry. Mobility issues may be keeping them from grocery shopping.
There is a natural amount of memory loss that occurs with aging, but pronounced memory problems and confusion are possible indicators of dementia. It may also mean your parent isn’t managing their medications properly, or there could be an underlying medical condition.
Not taking the proper dosage of their medications, not taking them at the right time of day, or forgetting to take their meds altogether can seriously damage a senior’s physical and mental health. If your parent isn’t following the doctor’s directions concerning their medications, it may indicate a deeper cognitive problem. Inventory your parent’s medications. Make sure they’re filling their prescriptions on time and that they don’t need refills. Having them use a daily or weekly pillbox can also be helpful.
If your parent is experiencing frequent falls, it’s a warning sign they’re having mobility problems and should be addressed immediately. Falling is the leading cause of disability for adults age 65 and above and often leads to broken bones, including hips, which can cascade into more serious, sometimes fatal, health problems.
Don’t delay taking action if you notice any of these signs with your parent. Home care assistance should start as early as possible. The longer they go without the care they need, the more likely their health will suffer.
AmeriCare Plus is there for your mom or dad when you need us. You may start with having us provide care for just a few hours daily, be there around the clock, or anything in between.
We’re available seven days a week and offer a full range of services for seniors living in Virginia, including meal preparation, medication reminders, and transportation. Call us today at (844) 312-5913 to learn more about senior care you can trust.