As your parents age, you are suddenly placed into the position of being the caregiver. Where once you were the child, you now become the parent. Aging is complex and inevitable. As you begin to see signs of deterioration in your own mother and father, it can be difficult to deal with and to address. However, it is also possible with the right care to keep your family at home, intact and in familiar surroundings. Elderly parents often do better at home together and remain more cognitively aware, than if they are placed into residential care.
When you give a parent a hug, do they feel thinner than before? Maybe you have spotted bruises or you've noticed they have trouble getting around the kitchen. Many parents are reluctant to admit they have fallen or they are not eating correctly. More elderly fear losing their independence in their older years than they do dying. For this reason, many are unwilling to share with you their struggles.
Have you noticed your mom or dad are having trouble moving around the house? They may be unable to complete their routine activities, such as going up and down the stairs, showering and getting out to buy groceries. This can lead to a loss in nutrition and social isolation.
Have you noticed your parent’s personal hygiene has declined? Maybe there is a body odor that wasn't there before, stained pants or the same bottle of shampoo has been in the shower since the last time you visited. If your parents are having trouble maintaining basic personal hygiene, it's a good sign they would benefit greatly from in-home caregivers.
Emotional or Mental Decline
If you've noticed frequent mood swings, sudden changes in temperament or a loss of enjoyment in activities they have loved doing in the past, this may be a good sign your parents need assistance at home. Although we all forget things sometimes if your parents are forgetting to take their medications, pay their bills or their memory is interfering with everyday activities, it's an indication they should see a physician and have an in-home caregiver to help them stay on top of their normal activities.
Signs of Financial Trouble
Too often, financial trouble can occur without friends or family noticing. If checks are beginning to bounce, you are receiving calls from collection agencies and you've noticed the bills are piling up at your parent’s house, it may be a matter of forgetfulness making finances more difficult to manage, or it might be an early sign of cognitive decline. As many seniors are often on their own, this isolation can have a negative impact on their mental health and contribute to the development of cognitive decline and depression.
If you've noticed any of these signs in your parents, or if they've begun to isolate themselves and are suffering from mental decline, hiring an in-home caregiver will help keep them more physically and mentally active, and potentially prevent the need for residential care. When your parents are encouraged to do for themselves, be socially active and are mentally challenged each day with an in-home care provider, it helps create an environment where they may be successful at home.
Come Home With Harmony
At Harmony, we are here to support you as you support your parents in their later years. Contact us today to talk with our experts — we can help you find the best care for your parents.