It’s hard to know when an aging parent may need an extra layer of support. Your older parent may paint the picture that everything is fine. In most cases aging parents don’t want to be a burden to their adult children, so, they may reassure you that they are doing well. For children who live far away or aren’t able to visit regularly, it’s hard to know the true reality of how their loved one is really faring. Life may not be as rosy as they paint it to be; they could be declining from a serious illness like COPD or CFH or even simply living with the effects of getting older and struggling to live independently in their home.
So, how do know if your aging parents need extra support? Here’s a great reality check.
- How Do They Look? Does their general appearance tell you they are caring well for themselves? Or are you noticing signs of selfcare struggles? Are their clothes clean and weather appropriate? Do they appear bathed with their hair washed, neat and combed? Are they getting dressed or wearing their pajamas all day?
- Are There Noticeable Bruises? Any unexplained and noticeable bruising could indicate that your loved one is having balance and mobility problems.
- Are They Getting Around Well? Is there a marked weakness, loss of stamina or strength? Do they seem unstable or need support when they walk? Any of these can signal a decline in their ability to remain independent.
- How’s Their Activity Level? Are they active? Are they participating in family visits? Or do they seem to be spending more time in their favorite chair? Are they sleeping more? Are you noticing a loss of strength or do they seem weaker? These can be signs of declining health.
- Are There Signs Of Confusion? Are there any signs of cognitive impairment? Are you noticing consistent memory lapses, rapid mood swings, the inability to follow a conversation, or depression? These could be signs of the beginning of dementia.
- Does The House Seem In Bad Shape? Are there any signs of neglect, including spoiled food, piled up mail, or just a general uncleanliness? Are the beds clean with clean sheets? Is laundry piling up? This could reveal that your parents have become unable to complete basic household tasks.
- Are They Taking Their Medications Properly? Are you finding unfilled prescriptions? Or do they seem to be confused about how and when to take their medication? Your loved one not taking their medications properly can lead to worsening symptoms and frequent rehospitalizations.
- Are They Missing Doctor Appointments? Is your loved one missing doctor appointments because it’s been more difficult for them to get there? Or are they simply not following up on the care they need?
- Are They Calling Their Doctor More Often? If your loved one has a chronic illness, do they seem to be calling their doctor more often? This could be a sign they are declining and need additional care in the home.
- Have They Lost Weight? A significant weight loss can mean they have been having difficulty cooking, are not getting proper nutrition or even declining in health.
Sometimes a reality check can be an alarming wake-up call as you realize that your parents are not doing as well as they have claimed, and may need some additional help. Ultimately though, a reality check can help guide you to ensuring aging loved ones get the support and care they truly need.
If you are concerned that your loved one may need an extra layer of care, Nurses & Company can help. Our supportive home health services bring an expert care and support to individuals living with illness while our private services provide extra layer of support so those struggling with selfcare can remain living independently at home.
At Nurses & Company, we understand how overwhelming the process of finding the right care for your loved ones can be. One call to our friendly staff can help you understand and navigate the options available. Our advance care planning team is here to help; we’re locally owned and have served families in our community for almost 30 years.
We’re here to help care for mom or dad, when they need us most.