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Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Help With Daily Living

It’s a common scenario for seniors to reach a point in their life where some form of care is necessary to help them with day-to-day living; however, many seniors find it troublesome to ask their family or friends for assistance. Perhaps they don’t want to feel as though they are a hindrance to others, or maybe they don’t want to jeopardize their independence. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s important to stay ahead-of-the-curve under these circumstances, so as to gradually progress towards a new lifestyle. Being mindful of the following signs that suggest a senior is struggling will aid you in evaluating your loved one’s condition and determining the best caregiving options for their particular situation.

Diet

Proper nutrition is essential for older adults. Therefore, you’ll want to discern whether or not the refrigerator and pantry are regularly stocked with healthy, wholesome meals. Moreover, be sure that your loved one is reading expiration dates and throwing old food away. A poor diet can lead to an unhealthy weight and an array of medical problems.

Medical

Seniors need to be attentive to their medical conditions and their prescriptions. If they are no longer able to manage their health care, such as filling prescriptions, taking the correct dosage amounts, or administering their own insulin for example, it’s important to seek out the help of a qualified medical professional. 

Behavior

Take your mother or fathers’ behavior into account. If they have trouble remembering familiar places and names, or the date, it could be symptom of an underlying mental health disorder. Other sudden changes in their demeanor that you may notice include, isolating themselves from others, or frequently feeling short-tempered, unhappy, or distressed.

Personal Hygiene

Pay attention to your loved one’s general appearance, grooming habits, odor, and their aptness to select appropriate attire based on the weather. Neglecting personal hygiene may be due to physical limitations, or it could be a symptom of a cognitive disorder.

Safety

Determine if they are capable of carrying out tasks to ensure their personal safety, such as remembering to turn off the stove or oven, snuffing out candles, and locking the doors and windows.

Errands and Routine Chores

You’ll want to examine your loved one’s driving capabilities and their ability to conduct daily tasks, such as dusting or doing the laundry. It’s important to consider if these tasks are becoming increasingly laborious for them. Sudden, drastic changes in their driving abilities or the upkeep of their home could be an indication of declining vision, hearing, memory, or strength.

Finances and Mail

Consider their personal financial situation. Observe whether or not they struggle to meet payment due dates or keep up with the mail.

If you believe that your loved one is exhibiting one or more the aforementioned signs, it’s important to first bring it to their attention in a considerate and respectful manner. Be sure that they understand your intentions stem from a place of love and concern for their overall safety and well-being. At this time you can begin to research your options for your mother or father while being sensitive to their requests.

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