Parents are meant to take care of you. From childhood and even well into adulthood, your parents will be there to provide loving support. But as life goes on, there will come a time when your parents will need you to care for them.
This can be a very tough decision, but understanding your parents’ needs might help you appreciate the help that a professional care provider can give you. It’s scary to see people that you once considered invincible get sick. The best way you can help them is first by recognizing the signs that they cannot care for themselves anymore.
Once you accept this reality, you will be to provide them the best quality care they deserve.
Here are the signs to look out for:
A Change in Behavior
When older people’s health starts declining, little by little, they lose certain freedoms and liberties. Driving becomes difficult, going to the bathroom, accomplishing simple tasks, and more. This can take a toll on their mental health as well. No one wants to feel helpless, but right about this time, this might be the reality they’re facing.
If you start to notice a significant change in their behavior, like constant frustration, anger, or low spirits, this might be a sign that assisted living care is necessary. Apart from influencing their mood, a change like this can lead to serious repercussions. Everyone needs time to socialize, hobbies, and freedom to move around.
Take that away, and it can lead to the following:
- Addiction—seniors may turn to substances like smoking, drinking, and prescription drugs in an effort to fill the void.
- Depression—the lack of purpose or connection to others can lead to depression, a possible sign of other diseases such as heart disease or dementia.
A Messy Living Space
Even with most people, a messy living space can be an indicator of deeper underlying issues. As they get older and lose certain functions, keeping their home tidy can become a challenge for seniors.
Simple tasks like picking up after themselves, cleaning the dishes, or clearing their trash can be left undone. Not only can this lead to a messy home, but if the wrong items or food is left out and uncleaned, it can also become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and pests. By that point, it’s also a health concern.
A Decline in Personal Hygiene and Appearance
When living unassisted becomes difficult for senior citizens, you can also often see the signs in how they present themselves. While everyone gets ready differently, there is still some effort involved. The outside will reflect the challenges they’re facing at home on the inside.
A change in their hygiene and appearance most likely stems from some of the illnesses and ailments they’re experiencing. And as we’ve stated, their mood can also severely affect how they take care of themselves. Please also note that this includes their weight. A drastic weight or weight loss is a cause for concern with seniors.
Be sure to keep an eye on how they look and if there’s a drastic change to it. Is their hair unkempt? Are they still wearing put-together clothes like before? Do they look like they’re eating enough? The answers to these can tell if it’s time to consider assisted living care.
Acquiring assisted living care for your parents is not an easy decision. No matter how much you can do for them yourself, there are aspects of their lives where they might prefer that a professional help them rather than their child. No matter how old they are, you will always be their responsibility. And the best way you can repay that is by being aware of their needs and providing that for them.
At Gateway Home Health, we are committed to providing the best home care services to all families in the communities of Denver and Colorado Springs. Work together with our trained team of professionals to make your family’s final days at home comfortable and memorable.