Posted July 1, 2015
The signs are there; your dad’s unopened mail is piling up, or your mom who always looked neat and tidy is now wearing wrinkled clothes and fails to do her hair. Bruises are evident up and down their arms and the all too familiar response, “Everything is fine, no need to worry.”
No one wants to admit they can’t take care of themselves, nor do they want to loose their independence. Admitting they need help and accepting assistance is very difficult for people as they age. It represents a loss of independence. Denial plays a major role, and many signs get ignored,” says Paul Hogan, Founder and Chairman of Home Instead Senior Care.
Ultimately, the burden falls on the family to step up and acknowledge that their loved one may need help with activities of daily living. That is not to mean it is time to put them in an assisted living or nursing home, they just may need a little extra help around the home. IF they are not willing to admit it, how can you tell it is time?
Here are some of the signs that may indicate your parent needs help at home:
- Spoiled food that doesn't get thrown away
- Missing important appointments
- Unexplained bruising
- Trouble getting up from a seated position
- Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
- Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
- Unpleasant body odor
- Infrequent showering and bathing
- Strong smell of urine in the house
- Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care
- Dirty house, extreme clutter and dirty laundry piling up
- Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox
- Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors
- Poor diet or weight loss
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
- Forgetting to take medications – or taking more than the prescribed dosage
- Diagnosis of dementia or early onset Alzheimer's
- Unexplained dents and scratches on a car
Once you realize there is in fact a problem and they may need a little assistance, homecare may be a great option to investigate instead of assisted living, nursing home or some other type of senior care. Home care is defined as non-medical support services delivered at the home of the senior. This type of care allows the senior to stay in their home longer while having help with shopping, meal planning and preparation, diet monitoring, hygiene assistance (bathing, grooming), light housekeeping, walking assistance, errands and transportation, and many other tasks of daily living.
Before there is a major accident or crisis, discuss your observations with your loved one and ask what they think is going on. If they acknowledge the situation, see what they feel would be a good solution. IF they don’t recognize a problem, use concrete examples to support your case.
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