How do you know when your aging parents need help? This is a question that comes up sooner or later for all of us. Our elderly population is growing quickly. Around 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years of age every day in the United States.
For those of us who live close to our parents, it is easier to see the signs. For others it’s quite a bit harder to know. We may not be able to see any signs of decline until we visit our parent’s home and that may be only once or twice per year. This is when the reality of the situation becomes apparent.
They may tell us over the phone that they are fine. This is understandable, considering we are talking about their independence. They may be afraid that we will immediately start talking about the dreaded nursing home.
But it can be quite a surprise when you go home to visit your aging parents and see that things are not what they once were. You may notice bathrooms that are dirty, food that has gone bad in the refrigerator, or little or no food in the house.
It is a natural process of aging to see declines in hearing and eyesight. Arthritis can set in making it hard to grip items and can be very painful, making normal tasks nearly impossible.
You might see small changes in your parents overall health through the years, but after a while all of these changes add up and start to cause serious impacts on your aging parents ability to keep up with their household chores and their ability to take care of themselves.
Asking for Help
There are often several reasons that your aging parents do not ask for your help. Some of them may be:
- They do not realize that their health and safety are at risk due to cognitive declines
- Fear of a nursing home
- They do not want to burden their family members or friends
Recognizing the Signs of When Your Aging Parents Need Help
- Becoming forgetful- not taking medications, leaving appliances on, etc
- Not wanting to travel anymore – coming up with excuses not to
- Loose clothing – not eating properly
- Damage to vehicle – you notice dents and scratches, neglect
- Not socializing as much
- House is messy
- Unexplained bruises
- Holds on to things when walking around the house
- Has unpaid bills
When you start recognizing any of the signs above, it is time for you to step in and help. They are all hard subjects to bring up. Have you ever had to talk to your parents about their personal hygiene?
It’s best not to try and tackle all of the issues at once. Try bringing up one issue at a time and ask them if they want any help. They are more likely to open up. It also helps to have some resources already in mind.
Fortunately there are options out there that can help you and your aging parents. Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah in St. George provides compassionate in-home care. We can offer your loved one a variety of services: companionship, light housekeeping, meal prep and planning, transportation and more. Visit our website www.goldenheartsouthernutah.com or call (435) 669-3704. You’re in Good Hands with Golden Heart!