No child, regardless of age wants to believe that their parent’s ability to remain independent is at risk. The following list will help you to determine if this is the case.
12 SIGNS THAT YOUR PARENT MAY BE AT RISK OR IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE
- The laundry and the dishes are being neglected. The house appears to be unkempt, especially the bathrooms. Their once tidy home is becoming cluttered with items not put away or garbage not thrown out.
- Household maintenance and repairs are falling behind. Lawn is not mowed regularly, gardens tended, garbage taken out, lightbulbs replaced, calendar changed to the new month.
- The refrigerator contains spoiled food they swear is “just fine” or there is a shortage of fresh food available. This may accompany an unexplained weight loss suggesting that they are no longer cooking or eating regularly. There may also be an abundance of the same items (multiple pounds of coffee, boxes of the same cereal and cans of food) in the food cupboards. Rebuying the same item over and over can be a sign of memory loss or stocking up to reduce the number of trips needing to be made outside the home.
- Difficulty managing medications – missed doses, overdoses, can’t read directions on bottles, numerous prescriptions from different doctors, too expensive
- Unsteady while walking – has fallen more than once, reluctant to walk usual distances, unexplained injuries, expressed fear of falling, narrow stairways
- Decline in personal cleanliness – unkempt appearance, body odor, wearing the same clothes for days
- Missed or excessive doctor/hospital visits
- Change in behavior or personality – more anxious, depressed, upset, lack of interest unusual activities, noticeable change in daily routine
- Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping in more often, increased number of naps, increasing complains of “just not feeling well” to avoid activities.
- Reluctance to leave the house or drive anywhere – changed visiting patterns with friends and/or family, decreased involvement in social or religious activities
- Bills are left unpaid or mail unopened. Excessive anxiety surrounding money.
- Altered communication patterns – less frequent, poorer quality, changes in vision or hearing ability.
If you or your parents are struggling with any of the above challenges, don’t worry. Help is at hand. At Next Chapter Senior Services we can support you and your family in arranging for services and assistance to mitigate life’s challenges.