Signs That Your Aging Parents Needs More Help

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There are lots of signs that can suggest that an aging parent needs more help now, from spoiled food sitting in the fridge to living in the same pair of pajamas all the time. Always pay attention to any changes that seem out of character to you, as they could suggest that more help is needed.

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Remember that nobody knows your parents or loved ones like you do. Something that strikes you as unusual might be commonplace for someone elses’ parents. It is helpful to know some common warning signs that may signal trouble ahead. We must acknowledge that it is ultimately best for anyone – young or old – to be supported at all times. Therefore if needed, caregiver assistance is ultimately provided. Through sites such as Caregiverlist, you can learn more about the qualifications of different caregivers in your area and ensure they meet caregiver training requirements and can provide high-quality care.

Whether you’re visiting in person or catching up through a video chat, look out for these signs. 

  1. Bounced checks, calls from collections, and late payment notices. Are they paying bills late or not paying them at all? Are they getting calls from collection companies? 
  2. Broken or damaged fixtures and appliances. Have they stopped cooking or keeping a regular meal schedule because their kitchen appliances aren’t working? Are important things, like light bulks, not being replaced? 
  3. Changes in mood or extreme mood swings. Do they act differently towards your, friends, or strangers? 
  4. Cluttered, dirty, or disorganized home. Is their home looking different to you?
  5. Confusion and uncertainty when performing tasks. Have they become unsure about everyday tasks like laundry, washing the dishes, or vacuuming?
  6. Feeling depressed or having little energy. Has their manner changed in a noticeable way? Do they seem as cheerful as they did before?
  7. Wearing disheveled or tattered clothing. Are your parents starting to neglect their appearance? Are their clothes often dirty or look worn out? 
  8. Keeping expired groceries. Is food growing mold on the counter or in the fridge? Does the kitchen smell?
  9. Forgetfulness. Do they often misplace their keys, wallets, or other personal items? 
  10. Improper medication management. Are there full bottles of prescription pills in their medicine cabinet? Are they forgetting to take their medication?
  11. Leaving the house or yard maintenance unattended. Are the weeds out of control? Is there trash piling up?
  12. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies. Have they stopped taking part in things they previously enjoyed?
  13. Missing appointments. Are they having to rearrange doctor’s appointments, or just not showing up at all. 
  14. Weight loss or poor diet habits. Are they eating a lot less or only eating prepackaged snacks? 
  15. Poor personal hygiene. Is their breath bad or do they have body odor? 
  16. Trouble getting up from a seated position. Are they finding it hard to sit or stand?
  17. Frequent injuries or bruising. Unexplained injuries could indicate falls or other accidents in the home. 
  18. Unexplained dents or damage on their car. Are they having more accidents? Are they not paying attention to their safety when they drive?

If you notice these signs, it might be helpful to write down your worries. Talk with your siblings and other relatives, or plan an elder care family meeting to start helping.

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