Visiting your senior loved one is always a great opportunity to brighten his or her day and create new memories. While you want the primary focus of your visit to be positive, you may also need to use this as an opportunity to assess your loved one’s wellbeing. Looking for a few common red flags lets you know when it’s time to step in and suggest your parent accept more help at home.
1. Difficulty Eating
If it’s been a long time since you last saw your loved one, weight changes might seem dramatic. If your parent has lost a lot of weight, ask if he or she has changed his or her diet or exercise plan. If not, this could be a sign your loved one is having difficulty preparing or eating meals. Hiring a caregiver to help with mealtimes can boost your loved one’s general health.
Senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Mobility Issues
Changes in gait can reveal new health problems. They can also increase fall risk. Watch how your loved one gets out of a chair and walks across the floor. Shuffling his or her feet, moving excessively slowly, or grimacing in pain are all signs your loved one may need assistance with tasks that have become more difficult with age.
3. Unexpected New Friendships
You want your loved one to have friends. In fact, seniors who are social tend to have better mental health than those who become isolated. However, there’s a point where a friendship might be unhealthy. Senior financial abuse often begins with a sudden new friend who slowly gains an older adult’s trust and access to his or her accounts. If your loved one’s new friendship also coincides with strange purchases or missing valuables, you’ll want to be on high alert. Helping your loved one find appropriate forms of socialization can prevent this from happening.
4. Neglected Household Maintenance
An overgrown lawn or a messy bedroom could be a sign your loved one doesn’t have the energy to do basic home maintenance tasks anymore. Issues like these could also be indicative of a senior who is having cognitive challenges. While it might be challenging to broach the topic of a disheveled home, it’s important to find out why things are the way they are. If you approach the subject with empathy, your loved one might explain that he or she keeps forgetting to mow the lawn or hasn’t been able to bend over to pick the clutter up off the floor. Once your loved one opens up, you can use the opportunity to discuss options for help, such as hiring a lawn service and having a professional caregiver come by regularly.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Anchorage families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Changes in Appearance or Demeanor
Upon your arrival, you might be able to detect several concerning things about your loved one’s wellbeing right away. If your parent has always been perfectly coiffed and dressed, you may need to worry if he or she answers the door with messy hair and wearing clothes he or she has clearly worn for quite a while. Mood changes are another cause for concern. Seniors who suddenly seem cranky when they’ve always been cheerful might be depressed, fatigued, hungry, or developing dementia symptoms. Getting to the heart of what’s happening can help you find solutions to boost your loved one’s mood and appearance.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Anchorage, Alaska, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call one of our Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.