Seniors who live independently may enjoy their freedom, but as time goes by they may need some assistance with meal preparation, hygiene and transportation. As an adult child of an aging loved one, notice signs that your parents may need help and be aware of solutions that will allow them to remain at home. Sometimes all it takes is a compassionate in-home caregiver to provide the support and companionship they require.
Recognizing the Signs
Aging parents sometimes keep their need for help a secret, for a number of reasons. They may feel embarrassed, or they may fear that they will become a burden to their family. Seniors are often concerned about giving up their independence. Even if your loved ones do not communicate with you about the problems they are experiencing, there are some tell-tale signs you might notice that indicate they may need help.
- Personal Hygiene: Soiled clothing or an unkempt appearance can be a sign that your loved one needs help with bathing and laundry.
- Medication: The prescription vial will state the dosage, date and refills available. If there seems to be too many pills left over at the end of the prescription period, there may be a problem with managing meds. Monitor their medication to make sure seniors are taking prescriptions according to directions.
- Weight Loss: Losing weight can indicate the presence of disease, depression or dementia. Weight loss might also be the result of a senior’s inability to buy groceries or prepare meals. Sometimes a senior will eat less because of a diminished sense of smell and taste, which can make food seem unappealing.
- Housekeeping: Notice if there is a change in the neatness and cleanliness in the home. If so, the senior may need assistance with organization and housekeeping.
- Mental Capacity: Constant repetition and forgetting familiar names, places and recent events can indicate a problem.
- Finances: Make sure your parent is keeping up with bills and does not succumb to telemarketers unnecessarily or charities if money is tight. Keep an eye out for budget cuts, like cutting back on medications or not buying enough food.
- Falls: Look for indications that your loved one has fallen. You may see bruises or broken items around the house. Falling is a major problem and can cause severe injury or death in the elderly.
- Unsteadiness: Observe how the senior is walking and moving. An elderly person who is unsteady on his feet may need a device such as a cane, a walker or a wheelchair.
- Pain: Notice if she has signs of pain by watching facial expressions and groans when moving around. You may also see that your loved one is inactive.
- Dizziness: Look for signs of dizziness, since this can indicate a serious medical condition. If your parent appears dizzy, make an appointment to see the doctor.
Solving the Problem
So what should you do if you see a problem? Address the issues with your loved ones and let them know you are on their side and you want to help. Encourage them to discuss the challenges they face. To rule out medical problems and get an up-to-date list of current medications, accompany your parent to the doctor. Help with meals by purchasing prepared and prepackaged food. You might prepare meals in your home and freeze individual portions for use at a later date. Purchase equipment such as a walker to help with unsteadiness, and address safety issues in the bathroom with a non-skid floor and bath mat, grab bars and a shower chair.
A reputable home health care agency can provide a trained in-home caregiver to help out with meals, bathing and transportation to keep your loved one safe in their own home. Home Helpers of South Shore is owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Contact Home Helpers to provide the trained, experienced home health care workers you need for your aging parent.
Please call us at 781-585-1244 or visit our website homecaresouthshorema.com for a free in-home consultation to determine the plan that is right for you.
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Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman