Tell-Tale Signs Your Elderly Parents Need Help
Aging comes to us all, no matter how strong and healthy we may be. We will all have to deal with at some point, but before old age affects our own health, the first hurdle we will have to face is coping with elderly parents. As our parents get older, we will need to take a lot more care and attention of them as they become frail and weak. However, not many elderly parents want help from their children, no matter how much they need it. So how do you know when it is time to step in and make sure your elderly parents get all the help they need? Here are the tell-tale signs.
Home And Garden Maintenance Increases
Next time you go around to your parent’s home to visit them, take a look at the property and see how it looks. If there is quite a bit of maintenance that needs doing and repairs that need to be made, this could be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope with some household jobs and tasks. You could suggest to your parents that you start going around once a week to help them maintain their home. If you don’t have enough time, what with work and your own family, you might prefer to hire a gardener or handyman who can take care to bring their home and garden up to scratch.
Out Of Date Groceries
It is also worth taking a look in your parents’ kitchen and looking at the expiry date on all their fresh groceries. Are there quite a few that are out of date or have spoiled? If so, this could also be a sign that your parents are struggling to cope at home. They may have kept hold of expired groceries rather than go to the supermarket to buy fresh ones. This could be because they are getting quite frail, and can’t cope with a weekly shop at their local supermarket. It could also be a sign of a developing illness, such as Alzheimer’s, and their forgetfulness could be a symptom.
Poor Personal Hygiene
Do you notice a distinct funky smell when you visit your parents now? It may not be a nice thought, but maybe it’s your parents? As we get older, we often forget things and try to get by without doing too much. As a result, many elderly people forget to wash every day or feel that they don’t need to. You should ask your parents and make sure that they still keep up with their personal hygiene. There are some other signs to look out for that are giveaways of poor personal hygiene. For instance, very long nails, unkempt hair, and poor oral hygiene.
Not Eating Regularly
One sign which lots of people notice in their parents is that they lose any interest in preparing meals and eating. They may also not be eating at regular intervals. This can be a difficult sign to notice at first, especially if you don’t visit them at meal times. One way to spot this change in their behavior, though, is to keep an eye on their weight. If you notice that they start to lose weight quite quickly, then they probably aren’t eating right. Offer to cook for them a few night’s a week or invite them over to yours for dinner to ensure that they get one good meal in them.
Their Mobility Declines
Are your parents struggling to get around their house? They might find that getting up and down the stairs is now a struggle. If so, and they don’t want to relocate to a bungalow, you could always suggest that they think about the possibility of home lifts or chairlifts. These will help them get upstairs and downstairs with ease, allowing them to go about their usual activities. If your parents find it also hard to walk and balance on level ground, it may be time to get them a walking stick or zimmer frame. In some extreme cases, a wheelchair may be necessary.
Their Driving Is Becoming Very Dangerous
As we get older, we start to lose our sight and our hand-eye coordination becomes quite poor. This has a direct effect on our driving. If your parents start to get into more bother when they are out driving – maybe they end up committing more driving violations and end up causing a couple of accidents – then it could be time to make them stop driving. However, they may not be too happy with this idea as it can greatly limit their independence! But you need to tell them that it is for their own safety. Lots of towns and villages are now well connected with public transport routes, and many elderly people will be able to get discounts on their travel tickets. Explain this to them, and they should start to come round to the idea. You should also offer to give them a lift whenever you are free to do so.
They Now Lose Track Of Medication
Most elderly people are on various types of medication. Each different type will require your parents to take a certain dose at varying intervals. This can be quite difficult for old people to keep on top of. If you notice that your parents are starting to lose track of their medication, they might need some help every day to take their tablets. If they can’t keep on top of their medicine, and there is no one to help them with it every day, then they might end up having to be hospitalized. One way to help them keep on track is to create a daily schedule for them. Write out exactly what they need to take on each day of the week, and how often.
Watching our parents age can be very distressing and upsetting indeed. However, if you are able to spot the tell-tale signs that they are struggling with their age, you will be able to help them take better care of themselves.
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