Ever since your father died, your elderly mother has been living alone in the house you grew up in. Mom has always been a proud and independent woman, but lately, something’s changed. Whenever you stop by her appearance looks disheveled, the place is a mess, and stacks of unopened mail are lying around.
Although you’re concerned about your mother’s health and wellbeing, you also don’t want to be intrusive. Deciding if-and-when an aging-in-place parent needs caregiving assistance is never easy. To help you decide if your aging mom or dad needs caregiving, here are six warning signs to watch for.
1. Fall Hazards
Fall-related injuries and fractures send millions of seniors to hospital emergency departments every year, and some lose their independence permanently as a result. Vision changes, poorly lit stairways, and slippery bathroom surfaces are all fall hazards for older adults.
If your aging mother’s mobility isn’t what it used to be, here’s how to help:
- Create clutter-free pathways throughout the home.
- Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom, and on both sides of the stairs.
- Schedule her an eye exam.
- Speak with an occupational therapist about how to create a safer home environment.
2. Driving Issues
If mom has received several tickets or been involved in multiple accidents, it may be time to have “the talk” about driving safety. Suspicious dents and scrapes on her vehicle could also be a sign that turning over the car keys might be in mom’s best interests. Respectfully discussing the topic with her and offering transportation alternatives will help you both sleep better at night.
3. Unfinished Business
Stacks of unopened, unpaid bills may be an indication that your mother is having trouble managing her finances. Offer to become a custodian on her bank and credit card accounts, which will also help protect her from financial scammers that prey on the elderly. If she doesn’t already have one, encourage your mother to set up a will and to designate you or another trustworthy individual to serve as her durable power-of-attorney (POA).
4. Medication Mismanagement
For one reason or another, millions of older adults don’t take their prescription meds like they should. Medication compliance is essential for keeping chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure under control. To ensure that mom takes her meds as prescribed, help her create a medication management program that includes refills, reminders, in-home monitoring, and follow-up doctor visits.
5. Change in Appearance
Losing or gaining excessive weight, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs that your loved one needs assistance. Cognitive red flags like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could indicate the onset of dementia.
If mobility changes are threatening your loved one’s quality of life, volunteer to assist them around the house. Lend a hand by preparing meals, doing laundry, helping them bathe, etc. If you suspect that she has cognitive impairment, schedule mom a doctor’s appointment so she can be evaluated thoroughly.
6. Loneliness and Isolation
Depression, anxiety, and dementia oftentimes keep older adults from socializing like they should. On the other hand, seniors that stay socially engaged tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who are lonely and isolated.
Introduce your mother to activities that she might enjoy at the local senior or community center. Show her how to use the latest technologies. Help her use video chats, online communities, and social media to stay in touch with old friends- or make new ones. Sometimes all it takes is an old-fashioned phone call from you to bring a smile to mom’s face!
Our Compassionate Respite Caregivers Are Here to Help
Although it’s highly rewarding for you both, caregiving for an aging-in-place parent can be overwhelming at times. When you need a break contact Seniors Prefer Homecare.
As a fully licensed home care provider our reliable respite caregivers will step in and provide your senior with the nurturing that’s needed so they can keep on living right where they want to be. At SPH, our compassionate professionals use a unique approach that’s designed to lift the spirits of those we serve. All while maintaining their dignity, independence, and self-esteem.
Our flexible and affordable, in-home daily living assistance services include respite care, personal care, companionship care, dementia care, household duties, and even live-in and 24-hour care. To learn more about Seniors Prefer Homecare now, or to schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in Tuscaloosa or Huntsville, AL, today, please visit us at www.seniorspreferhomecare.com!