People want to maintain independence for as long as possible. Eventually, physical decline in the later years of life requires that families step in to offer the support and resources essential to care for the daily needs of their parents. At this point, you might be asking yourself: is it time to find help for my elderly parents?
Age-Related Changes and Senior Safety
Age-related health changes can start to develop in retirement, such as hearing and eyesight decline, limited mobility, muscle mass loss, and slower cognitive processing. Even though these small health changes seem insignificant, they can have a domino effect on lifestyle and safety.
The conditions might not be life-threatening, but the combined concerns can make it difficult to drive, shop for groceries, cook a meal, or clean the house. Often, the older adult doesn’t ask for help because they don’t realize their safety and health are in jeopardy.
Paying Attention to the Signs
Family members need to pay attention to the signs, helping to determine if an older adult needs support. Here are a few warning signs that your family member needs help:
- Forgetfulness: Change in cognitive abilities start to show up in simple memory lapses, such as finding the car in a parking lot, remembering appointments, or forgetting to pay bills.
- Car Damage: When a vehicle is dinged, dented, or missing side mirrors, it could be a sign that the person is having difficulty driving.
- Messy Home: Poor vision, memory issues, or physical challenges can result in poor cleanliness habits at home. If you see a change in the cleanliness or tidiness of the living space, then it might be time to hire a housekeeper.
- Unkempt Appearance: Cognitive or physical ailments can have an impact on a person’s hygiene habits. The person might be forgetting to take care of daily activities, or having a hard time getting dressed in the morning. Also, watch for sudden signs of weight loss.
- Social Isolation: If the person tends to stay home more often, then this change in activity could indicate physical or mental challenges. Withdrawal from activities that were normally attended in the past could happen if the person is forgetting or can’t keep up with the conversations.
- Falls: Falling is a major health risk and a sign that help may be needed in the form of physical therapy, home modification, and/or professional caregiver support.
Where to Find Help for My Elderly Parents
Where is the best place to look to find help for my elderly parents? Our team at Windward Life Care is just a phone call away. We’ll help you find the local resources to support the needs of your loved one.