It can be hard to imagine your parents ever needing help, particularly if they were the ones who often came to your rescue when you were growing up. You might have memories of them being strong, energetic, appearing to be able to take on the world. Yet as you get older, so do your parents. Aging is an inevitable part of life, but it can mean that you need more help in your senior years than you did before. Not all senior citizens will want to go into care or feel comfortable asking for help when they need it. This is why it’s important to look out for signs that your elderly parent might be struggling and start thinking about what care options.
They Appear Disheveled
No one looks their best all of the time, but if you have noticed that your parent has started to appear more disheveled than usual, this could be cause for concern. If they are struggling to bathe, brush their hair, or even get dressed properly due to physical or mental ailments, this can lead to not bothering with these basic steps at all. To make sure your parent can keep their dignity and maintain basic hygiene, you may want to think about hiring a carer to help them at home or consider assisted living as an option. There are other types of home care you can explore for more specific needs as well.
Loneliness is a big issue within the senior community, particularly if an individual partner has passed away, or they don’t live close to friends or relatives. It’s a terrible thing to feel isolated, and this can result in other mental health problems like depression and anxiety if the issue isn’t addressed. Even if your parent is still able to live independently, hiring someone to spend time with them, making more time for them yourself, or even suggesting that they move to a retirement community so that they can make new friends their age could be the ideal solution.
They’re Not Managing Medication Properly
If your parent has been prescribed medications to treat a health condition, but they are failing to follow the doctor’s guidelines properly this can be very dangerous. They might be purposefully avoiding taking their medications, or this could be due to forgetfulness, but either way, mismanaging these dosages could be potentially fatal. Hiring a carer or moving your senior parent into a home where their medications can be managed properly would be essential under these circumstances.
They’re Getting Confused
Another potential problem to watch out for is if your senior parent is becoming frequently confused about their surroundings. This could be a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and you should take them in to see a specialist for tests as soon as possible. Other indicators that this might be the case include mood swings, loss of concentration, and forgetting how to do familiar tasks. They might also struggle to remember people who are close to them. If your parent has developed dementia, you will need to seek out specialist memory care.
If you have noticed any of the following with your senior parent, it might be time to start thinking about care options to make sure that they are being looked after and getting the support they need.