Even as they age your parents are still your parents, so sometimes it is difficult to admit that they are getting to the point where they need in-home health care. Even if they have managed to live on their own for years, there comes a time when you may notice signs that there are health or safety problems and you need to become more involved by contracting with a home care agency. Or, perhaps you have been involved with daily care, and you feel it is time to enlist the help of a health care professional so that you, as the caretaker, can find it easier to balance your own responsibilities like work and family.
Here are some early warning signs that may indicate that your aging parent can use some additional help from a home health care companion or aide around the house:
Keeping Up with Household Tasks: You may notice changes in housekeeping, such as more clutter in the home and neglected housework. Or you may open the refrigerator to see very little food, or inappropriate food like tubs of ice cream and cookies instead of nutritious items like veggies, chicken and whole grains. Burnt pots and extreme temperatures in the home can also indicate a problem.
Home Safety: When you visit you might see unexplained bruises on your parent. Upon questioning, they may admit that they fell on a slippery rug or bumped into hard edges of furniture. Perhaps they are having trouble navigating stairways or getting in and out of the shower. Look around the house with a keen awareness for danger signs, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.
Taking Medication: As people age, they are often prescribed a number of daily medications by their doctor. Sometimes prescriptions are not available on a synchronized system and your parents may be having trouble keeping up. They may become confused about which medications to take, and at what time. It may also be hard for them to read the small print instructions and warnings on their medicine containers.
Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss in an elderly person can be a red flag that there is something amiss. Losing weight may be the result of your loved one having difficulty with meals, such as shopping for ingredients, cooking and figuring out directions on food products. Weight loss can also be the result of a loss of the senses of smell and taste, so food is not as appealing. In some cases, losing weight can signify that there is a serious physical or mental health condition, malnutrition or even dementia.
Memory Loss: While some memory loss is pretty much expected as we age, severe changes can indicate a problem. Sometimes medication can contribute to the loss of memory. Severe memory loss may indicate dementia or the start of Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting names and words and not following directions can be a sign that something is wrong that can affect the safety of your loved one.
Withdrawal from Life Activities: While studies show that social engagement is vital to a senior’s wellbeing, you may see that your parent is withdrawing from life activities. This may be due to physical pain like arthritis that makes it difficult to get around or a loss of balance that can make walking hazardous.
If you notice that some or all of these points are becoming an issue, you may find that your elderly parent is in need of home health care services from a companion or aide. 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 fill the form on the left for a free in-home consultation to determine the plan that is right for you.
We serve the following communities:
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