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Signs a Parent Needs Home Care Assistance

Signs a Parent Needs Home Care Assistance

As your parents age, they may reach a point where they are struggling to look after themselves. Performing activities of daily living may become difficult as a person ages and your parents may be finding some common tasks become more difficult as the years pass.

But how can you tell when a parent needs home care assistance?  This article will share some of the most common warning signs a parent needs home care assistance around the home.  It will also explain some options for helping an aging parent if they are struggling with their activities of daily living.

Struggling Getting to Appointments

If your parent was once very punctual with their appointments but has struggled to be on time recently, they may need help from a Caregiver.  Getting to appointments on time actually involves a lot of preparation.  Your parent will have to bathe themselves, dress nicely, organize for transportation and gather the appropriate items for their appointment.

If they are struggling to perform one or more of these tasks, you will notice they turn up late for appointments or don’t turn up at all.  A caregiver will be able to help your parent arrive to appointments on time and well-prepared.

Bathing or Showering Less Often

For a middle aged person, bathing is a fairly straight forward process and is easy to perform on a regular basis.  For older people with certain health ailments or mental conditions; such as, Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can become very difficult.  The simple act of stepping into the shower and turning on the water can become difficult for someone with a health condition like osteoarthritis.

If your parents are struggling to bathe or shower regularly you may notice they have an unpleasant body odor, dirty fingernails or they may look disheveled.  A caregiver will be able to help your parent with their personal care needs and ensure that they are safe when bathing.

Spoiled Food in the Kitchen

If your parent is struggling to stay on top of their domestic duties, you might find spoiled food in the kitchen or refrigerator.  Dirty dishes in the kitchen are also a warning sign your parent may be struggling at home.  A caregiver will be able to help your parent with checking for expired foods and to ensure that the kitchen is safe and clean.

Difficulty Walking and Balancing

If your parent seems unsteady on their feet they may also be finding a number of domestic tasks difficult.  If they are struggling to walk or balance, they would have trouble performing many household duties including laundry, vacuuming or making their bed.

You may also notice that your parent has unexplained bruising.  They may be the result of falls your parent has had in their home.  They may be embarrassed to talk about these little accidents but if they are struggling with balance and try to perform difficult tasks it can lead to a serious fall.  A caregiver will ensure your parent’s safety and prevent potential life-threatening falls.

Looking Uncertain When Performing Common Tasks

If your parent is struggling to remember how to perform common tasks they may need help from an in-home Caregiver.  For example, if you notice they have forgotten how to operate the microwave, they probably need some form of home care assistance.

Forgetting to Take Their Medications

Forgetting to take medications can be a serious problem because it may lead to worsening health conditions or even a resistance to antibiotic medications.  If you notice that there are full pill bottles or your parent is skipping doses, they may need help with reminders.  A caregiver will help your parent with their medications and ensure that all are taken as prescribed.

Their House Becomes Dirty and Clutter Increases

If your once house-proud parent is struggling to clean their home, it may indicate a problem — particularly if they mention they wish they could clean their house like they used to.  Simple tasks like mopping, vacuuming and dusting become more difficult when you have mobility issues or one of many health problems associated with aging.  You may also have noticed they are wearing dirty clothes or the dirty laundry has piled up.  A caregiver will be able to assist your parent with their light housekeeping needs so that your parent’s home is clean and safe.

No Longer Handling Their Finances Well

If you notice unpaid bills piling up and unanswered letters from banks or creditors, it may be a sign they are struggling to stay on top of their finances.  They may understand they need to pay these bills but they are struggling to walk to the bank or walking the mail to their mailbox.  A caregiver may be able to help your parent with managing bills and correspondences.

Weight Loss or Are Not Eating Well

If you discover your parents have begun eating TV dinners or fast food because they no longer have the energy to cook nutritious meals, it is a serious health problem.  Good nutrition is particularly important with the elderly and helps to ward off many illnesses.   You might also notice that they are also losing weight or begin to look like they are suffering from malnutrition from eating a poor diet.  An in-home caregiver will be able to help with your parent’s diet intake and nutritional needs to ensure that they remain in good health.

Lack of Interest in Their Hobbies

If your parent has been an avid hobbyist all of their life then suddenly gives it up, it is a sign they may need help with encouragement.  It is possible that they can no longer go out and get the items they need to continue their hobby or they have a lack of energy.  By obtaining some home care assistance and encouragement from a Caregiver they may be able to return to their favorite hobby.

Stacks of Unopened Mail and Unread Magazines

If your parent no longer has the energy or ability to sort and read their mail or favorite magazines, they may need some home care assistance around the home with other tasks.

Mood Swings and Changes in Personality

When a person who has been independent all of their life begins to struggle with simple tasks, they often times will become angry because of the loss of their independence.  If your parent has always been a happy person but has recently become depressed or angry — it may be related to their capabilities declining.  By obtaining some home care assistance for them around the home, you will brighten their mood and restore their quality of life.

Home Care Assistance Available

If your parents are struggling to look after themselves, it doesn’t mean they have to leave their home or go into an assisted living facility.  Home care can be used to help your parents in the comfort of their own home.  It allows your parents to remain independent while staying in the home they know and love.  Some of the available home care services include:

  • Meal planning, preparation and clean-up
  • Assistance with bathing, hygiene and getting dressed
  • Medication reminders
  • Changing the bed linens and washing laundry
  • Grocery shopping and picking up medications
  • General cleaning duties including vacuuming, sweeping, dusting mopping and trash removal
  • Kitchen duties including washing dishes and organizing the pantry
  • Companionship and memory engagement
  • Help paying bills and sorting mail
  • Help with running errands

If you are interested in learning more about signs a parent needs home care assistance or the non-medical home care services by All Heart Home Care, contact us today at 619-736-4677 for a free in-home consultation.  We will discuss your parent’s capabilities and determine which services they may require.

Eric Barth
Eric Barth
CEO and blogger for All Heart Home Care. I devote myself to helping seniors age in their own home while maintaining a feeling of independence, preserve their dignity, and enhance the quality of their life. I write these blogs to help educate the public on issues surrounding what seniors find to be the most important. My blogs are from my own personal research. I hope you enjoy my blog posts.

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