Signs Your Parents Need Help at Home and What you Can Do
Getting Your Parents the Extra Help at Home They Need
The elderly population is expected to double by 2025. It’s a fact of life we have to face sooner or later: At some point, one or both of your parents, as independent as they seem to be, are going to need extra help at home. Approach the situation carefully, but keep an eye out for these early signs you may notice when you visit them.
- Difficulty getting around. Are they having trouble with the stairs or getting in the shower or bathtub? There are adjustments you can make to their home to make it safer, such as removing small area rugs, installing grab bars in the shower and using nightlights to light the path to the bathroom. Additionally, it may prove helpful to engage in regular physical activity that keeps them moving like a light dance class or age appropriate physical training or therapy.
- Physical health issues. Are they making their doctor appointments? They may be limiting their social activities because they can’t hear or see as well as they should. Do they keep a list of their medications? Some older people are, in fact, over-medicated. Offer to go with them on one of their next appointments. In addition, have a good list of current medications, when and how to take them, as well as any noted side effects is always helpful. Consider placing a clear pocket with this information near the phone or somewhere easily visible, so that it can be taken with you if you go the doctor or have to visit the emergency room. It’s also helpful for paramedics if they are transporting your parents.
- Forgetfulness. Do they remember things you talked about? Do you see unpaid bills on the table? Is the house clean and is the dirty laundry under control? Is there food in the refrigerator? First off, for an elderly person, each day is much the same as the one before. Lack of rhythm to their days makes it easy to forget when something needs to happen or even what day of the week it is. Work with them on solutions, such as hiring a cleaning service or considering a meal delivery option, there are two benefits to this: a rhythm to their week (the cleaning service comes on Wednesdays, so today is Wednesday) and it keeps them healthy and functioning well.
There are many resources available for you to help at home. Here’s a comprehensive checklist that can help you even more.
Additionally, you can consider having a loved one live with you so you can help out with things like meal preparation and cleaning. If you believe you’re ready for this step, we’re happy to help you find a home that will work for your needs, but first, read this article.
How You Can Help at Home Even More
- Fall Preventation: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Prevent-Falls-Fractures-and-Broken-Bones-among-Elderly-137785.htm
- Finding At-Home Care Providers: This guide will assist you in all aspects of setting up the ideal in-home care arrangement for your loved one.
- Must Have Legal Documents for Health Care in the Aging: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/legal-documents-to-make-healthcare-decisions-for-your-parent-146623.htm
Check out sites such as the National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org), www.care.com and www.agingcare.com. To engage their minds and keep them (or anyone over 50) up-to-date on aging issues, take a look at www.aarp.org.