Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

Signs That You Might Soon Need to be a Caregiver

By Erin Carll

Caregivers in Gibsonia PA

Though it does happen sometimes, in most situations, becoming a family caregiver is not a sudden thing. Your parent does not just go from being healthy and functional to needing assistance overnight. Instead, there is a steady and recognizable progression of needs that becomes more evident that eventually leads you to the realization that it is time for you to step into this role and give your parent the care and assistance that they need to stay healthy, happy, safe, and comfortable as they age in place.

Being able to recognize the signs that you might soon need to step into the role of being a caregiver is an important aspect of preparing yourself for this challenge. Taking the necessary steps to be as ready as you can be for the challenges that lay before you as a family caregiver will help you to feel more confident going into this role and can help to reduce stress and tension related to it.

Some signs that you might soon need to make the decision to become a family caregiver for your elderly parent include:

• Doctor visits have increased. It is normal for people to visit the doctor occasionally, especially when they become older. If your parent has been going to the doctor or hospital with increased frequency, however, especially if it is for the same thing or similar things each time, it could be an indication that they have needs and challenges that will need further assistance to manage properly.

• Increased number of falls. Falls are the most common form of injury for aging adults and they can lead to catastrophic consequences. They can also be an indication of a wide variety of health issues, from Alzheimer's disease to Parkinson's disease to arthritis. If you notice that your parent is losing their balance or showing signs of injury more often, it may be time to start a care relationship so that you can protect them from these injuries.

• Memory loss. Experiencing a minor decline in cognitive functioning, including diminished memory, is normal in aging. If your parent has become increasingly forgetful or is having difficulty with basic tasks, they could be suffering from Alzheimer' disease or another form of dementia. This progressive disease impacts not just your parent's ability to function normally, but their safety as well.

• Spoiled food in the refrigerator. It may not seem like a big deal for your parent to have some expired milk or a couple of containers of spoiled leftovers in the refrigerator. If this becomes consistent and there seems to be more spoiled food in the refrigerator than there is good, however, it could be an indication of a variety of issues that may benefit from your assistance.

• Lack of interest. It is normal for a person's interests and level of engagement to change occasionally, but these shifts should not be drastic. If your parent has maintained a certain schedule of activities or had a specific hobby or pastime for as long as you can remember and they suddenly stop showing interest, they could be suffering from depression, forgetfulness, loss of energy, or other challenges that make it difficult for them to continue enjoying these activities.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Gibsonia, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.