Community Blog

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Parent Needs Elder Care

By Ketan Shah

Greta’s mom, Emma, had always been a whirling dervish of energy. She kept her house spotless, her clothing was always crisp and neat, and she loved to entertain friends and family. Lately, though, Greta began noticing that Emma seemed to be slipping. When she would drop in for lunch, Emma sometimes looked unkempt. Her hair looked as though it hadn’t been combed in days and there were stains on her clothing. One day, when Greta opened the refrigerator to make some lunch, there were numerous containers of spoiled food. Greta decided it was time to get her mom some help, so she called an elder care agency.

Sometimes the signs that an aging relative needs help aren’t clear. They can be subtle, like those that Greta noticed. If you’re debating whether an older adult needs elder care, here are four signs they may.

#1: The House Seems Cold, Dark, or Messy

When you visit the older adult’s house, take a look around. If it’s chilly outside and the senior has failed to turn the heat on, it could be a sign of cognitive problems. They may have forgotten how to turn it on or that they even needed to do it. Another sign they need help is that multiple lightbulbs need changing. This can indicate they aren’t able to do the task themselves, perhaps because of balance problems that make it dangerous for them to use a ladder. If the house looks messy or dirty when the senior has always kept it neat, this can be a sign of illness, frailty, or depression. Elder care providers can help with these types of problems by assisting with cleaning and performing small maintenance tasks, like changing lightbulbs.

#2: Forgetting Appointments

Everyone forgets about an appointment once in a while. However, if your aging relative is forgetting appointments and other important things frequently, it could be a sign of cognitive problems. These memory loss issues could also be causing them to forget to take medications, which could result in poorly managed medical conditions. Elder care can help seniors with cognitive problems by reminding them of appointments and when it’s time to take medication. Elder care providers can also assist seniors to get ready to go to appointments and drive them there.

#3: Holding Furniture as They Walk

If you notice the older adult holding on to furniture and walls as they walk, this can indicate they are having balance or mobility problems. These problems put them at higher risk for falling. Elder care can offer seniors with mobility problems assistance walking and getting up from chairs to prevent them from falling.

#4: Unpaid or Overpaid Bills

When older adults start to have cognitive issues, they can lose their ability to perform certain tasks that require multiple steps. One such task is taking care of their finances. They may be confused by the steps required to pay bills and either neglect to pay them at all or pay more than they need to. Elder care providers can sit with seniors while they do their bills, assisting them with calculating what is due and writing checks or making online payments.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.