There’s a jarring moment when you begin to realize that your parent — the person who cooked you dinner, taught you to drive and told you to clean your room — is no longer able to handle those tasks for themselves. How do you react? It may be tempting to pretend you don’t notice, but acknowledging the truth — and taking appropriate action — can mean your parent gets the help they need to resume a thriving life. If you’re wondering about the signs that your aging parent needs help, here’s what to look for:
Life is more challenging when we can’t move easily. Notice if your parent struggles to rise from a sitting position or if frequent bruises or scrapes suggest repeated falls. Mobility issues can make it harder for your parent to get to the bathroom, pick up the mail, or get out and socialize with friends.
Changes in Mood
You’ve known your parent your whole life, so you’re probably tuned in to their usual mood and demeanor. Pay attention if you notice an uptick in crankiness, a tendency to lash out at you or others, lethargy, or a surprising disinterest in favorite hobbies and pastimes.
Weight Loss or Gain
If daily tasks are becoming difficult, your parent may struggle to get groceries and prepare meals. This can affect their weight, and it may impact what foods they stock in their cupboards and refrigerator. Poke around in their kitchen to see whether they have healthy ingredients on hand or are opting for easy-to-prepare, but less nutritious pre-packaged alternatives. Check the fridge, too, for foods that are spoiled or past their sell-by date.
Trouble with Self-care
Appearing unkempt or wearing unwashed clothes can indicate that your parent is struggling with basic self-care tasks. These can include changing clothes, bathing, brushing their teeth, managing their medications, or cleaning themselves after going to the bathroom.
Ask your parent how they’re spending their time. If they’re frequently canceling or forgetting plans with friends, they’re likely not able to maintain the important social ties that foster a sense of belonging and well-being.
The keys to the car are a symbol of independence and can be very hard to let go of. But if you’re noticing dents in your parent’s vehicle or hearing of frequent fender-benders, it’s time to rethink how they get around. This is crucial, since it involves not only your parent’s safety, but also the safety of other people and property.
Neglected Home Maintenance
Messy, unsanitary living conditions, stacks of unopened mail or bills, or a general state of disrepair may indicate that your parent is struggling to keep up with the daily responsibilities of home maintenance. Untidy surroundings can make for a dangerous home environment, as well.
How to Help Your Parent
If you do notice signs that your aging parent needs help, an honest conversation with them may be the best first step. A doctor’s visit may be in order, as well. The doctor can help identify any underlying conditions that could be contributing to your parent’s difficulties and offer suggestions for possible solutions.
Depending on your parent’s needs, the solution may be as simple as hiring a housekeeper or lawn-maintenance crew. Or maybe you and your family have time to offer a helping hand with grocery shopping or other errands. Often, however, you need a long-term solution that can meet your parent’s needs even if their abilities continue to decline. In that case, assisted living can be the ideal choice.
A New Lease on Life
Often the help residents receive in assisted living brings new opportunities to engage joyfully with life. At Westbridge Assisted Living at Wyndemere:
- Staff members are available to help residents with activities of daily living like dressing and grooming.
- Regular daily check-ins ensure that residents are getting their needs met.
- Maintenance-free living means residents are no longer burdened with home upkeep.
- Residents stay engaged, active, and social through Wyndemere’s on-site activities such as fitness classes, social clubs, and creative arts workshops.
- Chef-prepared meals ensure that your loved one has access to delicious and nourishing foods.
What’s more, you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing your parent is getting the assistance they need to thrive. If you’ve noticed signs that your aging parent needs help and would like to learn more about Westbridge Assisted Living & Memory Care, contact us today.