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It is a common perception that our aging parents and loved ones are as independent as we remember them when we were growing up. However, when families get together for the holidays or weekend socials, our ideas may change when we see in person that our loved ones’ lives might improve with some assistance at home. In recognition of Simplify Your Life Week, here are some signs you should look for to help you decide when a loved one may have come to a point in life where a helping hand is needed. While they may want to remain fiercely independent, their health and welfare are ultimately the most important when considering bringing in the extra help. Below is a list of signs your aging loved one may need extra support with basic activities of daily living.
  • Gauge Their Overall Health and Well-Being. If your aging loved one has a chronic illness and or is recovering from an adverse event or procedure, assistance at home could improve the overall quality of life in both the short- and long-term. In addition, help in the home of the loved one will ensure that prescription medications are refilled and taken when needed and any new regimens are followed.
  • Home is in General Disarray. Is the house or yard in major need of care? Some of the visual signs that aging adults need help around the home includes damaged or unusable household appliances or an unusually chaotic and messy home.
  • Pantry or Refrigerator Food is Inedible. How many items in the refrigerator are expired or uneatable? One clear sign that a loved one needs help is a pantry with many items that are expired.
  • Poor Meal Preparation. Does your loved express an interest in preparing and eating healthy and well-balanced meals? An overall lack of attention may be a signal that he or she is neither cooking nutritious meals or has lost interest in food altogether.
  • Inadequate Personal Hygiene. Does your aging loved one wear clothing repeatedly that haven’t been washed for some time or is in need of repair? These are also signs that an older loved one has lost interest in appearances, and may be a sign of an underlying issue, such as cognitive decline. This could also indicate the senior could use physical help with laundry or even dressing.
  • Financial Record-Keeping. Are there unpaid bills lying around in your loved one’s home, or has there been an abnormal amount of spending? If your aging parent or loved one is no longer able to pay attention to finances or write checks or pay bills, this is a serious matter as he or she can be susceptible to scams or elder abuse. Extra help could prevent this.
Seeing unexpected changes in family members may take months or even years to recognize. Once these signs are discovered, don’t disregard them. Think about the possible challenges an older adult may encounter while living at home alone without help, and learn what level of care might be best for your loved one. Start the conversation early, as it can be common for families to wait until after an adverse event like a fall to bring in care. Home Care Assistance embraces the belief that aging adults can thrive at home in a positive and healthy environment, while remaining as independent as possible. Plan accordingly and seek expert personalized advice by contacting a local Client Care Manager at 1-866-454-8346 to learn more and even receive a free in-home assessment.
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