Signs Your Senior Loved One May Need Help at Home
All people want to remain independent and in control of their lives for as long as possible, and for this reason many older adults choose to remain in their home and age in place. However, at a certain point many seniors need extra help to safely remain at home. Sometimes it’s obvious when an older adult needs additional assistance, but other times family members and even the seniors themselves don’t notice the signs that they might need some support.
All too often, the physical and mental decline that older adults experience comes as a surprise to family members, especially when they see the person on a regular basis. The main issue is that most of the signs of physical and cognitive decline arise so gradually that unless a person understands the warning signs, they often miss them.
Compounding this is the fact that many aging parents and their adult children are often in denial regarding the newfound challenges. It can be hard for parents to admit that they need help, and no one wants to lose their independence. But sometimes the tasks of daily living can overwhelm individuals as they age, and it’s important for family members and loved ones to step up and address the problem when this happens—even if it is emotionally difficult. The need for assistance will not disappear and may worsen if not addressed in a timely manner.
The responsibility to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with the activities of daily living often falls on family members. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your loved one must move into an assisted living community or a nursing home, it may just mean that they need some extra help in their home. If they’re not willing to admit it, there are ways for you to determine whether your elderly parent needs help. Since a health crisis can escalate quickly in older adults, it’s important to recognize the warning signs and act quickly.
What happens in many cases is that the senior experiences some kind of harrowing event, such as a fall or a lapse in memory that leads to a dangerous situation. These events often act as wake-up calls for the older adult and the people they love.
It’s for these reasons that The Legacy at Home, the not-for-profit home health care arm of The Legacy Senior Communities, wants to help educate the public on the kinds of things to look for when visiting a senior loved one. The signs include things such as difficulty with or the inability to perform routine activities of daily living such as:
- Dressing and grooming
- Using the toilet
- Transferring or moving from place to place
Additionally, changes or irregularities in their physical appearance may indicate they need assistance, including:
- Noticeable weight loss
- Unkempt appearance and/or poor hygiene
- Bruises on the body could indicate falls or difficulty getting from place to place
- Noticeable burns on the skin could indicate they’ve experienced problems cooking
There are other signs to look out for around the home, including:
- Not maintaining the property (i.e., landscaping, home maintenance and repair)
- Dents and scratches on their automobile which could indicate impaired driving ability
- Stained carpets, burn marks and other signs of accidents around the home
- Unopened mail/unpaid bills
- Unfilled/unused prescriptions piling up
- Lack of adequate and nutritious food
If you notice that your parents are experiencing one or more of the signs listed above, talk with them about their care needs, identify any problems and brainstorm some solutions. It’s crucial that your parents feel in control and play a role in making the decision to seek help and choose which option best meets their care needs.
While increasing numbers of seniors are choosing to age at home, no one wants to burden their children or other loved ones. This is where at-home health care from The Legacy at Home can provide valuable assistance.
Offering everything from medical care and physical/occupational/speech therapy in the home to companionship and caregiver respite visits, help with activities of daily living, transportation and so much more, The Legacy at Home offers just the right amount of care for you or your loved one, whatever that level might be. In addition, many of The Legacy at Home’s services are covered by Medicare.
If you’d like to learn more about The Legacy at Home, reach out to us and our knowledgeable team can answer your questions, address any concerns, and offer advice on a variety of topics. The Legacy at Home strives to be a resource not only for our clients, but for the community as well. Call our experts at (972) 244-7701 or visit click here to learn more.