As parents get older, they often remain in a state of denial regarding their diminished abilities. They don’t want to become a burden or lose their independence. Because of this, they may not be entirely honest. When you visit their home, look for clues to determine if they are keeping quiet about problems they’re having.
Upon arrival, take a close look around the property. Pay attention to the need for yard or home maintenance. They might have difficulty mowing or trimming hedges. Determine if their housekeeping habits have changed? Sometimes older people have a hard time keeping up with normal chores and let clutter and dirt build-up. Disorder is another sign that something isn’t right. Check appliances to ensure they are in working order and don’t have damage. Examine vehicles for dents and scratches. According to US News the elderly might justify dents and scratches. They avoid telling adult children because they do not want to lose their driver’s license.
As you visit with your elderly relatives, look for changes in their moods or extreme mood swings. These might indicate a larger problem. Watch them perform simple, familiar tasks. If they experience difficulty or confusion, they might need assistance to continue performing these tasks. Ask questions if you notice they have low energy or show signs of depression. They might be lonely, but often there is another more concerning explanation. Focus on their eating habits. Do they have a poor diet or unexplained weight loss? The Mayo Clinic indicates that weight loss might come from difficulty cooking, loss of taste or smell, or an underlying condition.
Forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging. However, it is often one of the first indications that your loved one might need additional care, such as in-home services from Tandem CarePlanning.Late payments, and bounced checks might reveal difficulty keeping track of financial matters. As you visit, check cabinets and refrigerators for spoiled or expired food that they forgot to throw away. Ask them about their medicine routine and if they forget to take dosages. Listen in the conversation for indications that they missed important appointments or forgot important details. Go with them to familiar places to see if they get lost or disoriented. Many older people will forget somethings, such as why they walked into a room. However, be aware of more concerning areas.
Appearance and Behavior
During your time with your elderly parent or loved one, look for changes in their appearance and behavior. Were they previously a neat person but now seem unkempt? Often aging individuals will neglect personal hygiene. They either forget when they last bathed or think that it takes too much effort. They may have trouble getting in and out of the shower or are afraid of falling. Talk with your loved one about the reasons they may not be bathing as often. Be supportive and help them find solutions. Be on the lookout for a loss of interest in hobbies, which frequently signals depression.
As your parents or other relatives age, they will need more and more help. By being proactive, you can step and slow the aging progression. Many adult children are apprehensive about getting help for their parents. However, failing to step up only allows things to get worse.