Caring for Seniors - Carolina Country

Caring for Seniors

Signs your aging parents may need more help at home

By Statepoint

Caring for Seniors

Every day, roughly 10,000 baby boomers nationwide turn 65, according to the Pew Research Center, which means that a growing number of Americans are dealing with the many challenges associated with aging parents or relatives.

Among them is determining when parents may need assistance they aren’t currently receiving. Unfortunately, when seniors struggle with basic tasks such as self-care, transportation or household chores, they don’t always talk about it. They may be embarrassed or afraid of losing their independence or homes. Still others may not even realize anything is amiss, particularly if they’re in the beginning stages of dementia.

If a parent requires extra care, consider all your options, including in-home assistance, which allows older adults to continue living at home while getting needed help. Look for care that offers a whole-person approach that looks beyond basic needs and works to develop activities that stimulate the brain, improve motor functions and help seniors feel in control of their days.

If your parents are displaying signs of needed care, getting them this support is crucial — both for their immediate health and safety, as well as their overall happiness and wellness.

Warning signs

Interim HealthCare shares some warning signs that an aging loved one may be in need of senior care. It’s smart to be on the lookout for the following:
  • A change in mood, such as depression, anxiety or a loss of interest in social activities and hobbies.
  • Significant weight loss which can happen for a variety of reasons, including serious physical and mental disorders.
  • Issues with mobility and balance. These can be signs of joint, muscle or neurological problems, and increase the likelihood of falls.
  • Bruises, cuts or scrapes are sometimes evidence of falls or kitchen mishaps, and a potential indication of declining physical agility.
  • Piles of bills, unwatered plants and overflowing hampers — these can signal that basic tasks are being neglected.
  • New dents or dings on your parents’ vehicle. These could be signs that safe driving has become an issue.
  • Stains, missing buttons and untrimmed nails are signs of neglected personal hygiene.
  • No food in the house, or moldy, stale or spoiled food, might mean a parent is struggling to grocery shop or cook, or may have even lost interest in eating.
  • A prescription stockpile, which can indicate your parent is forgetting to take critical pills.
  • Stacks of unopened bills, late payment notices, unbalanced checkbooks and wads of cash stashed in odd places, which can signal mismanaged money.

Local resources

To learn more about programs and services in the state that help both seniors and caregivers, visit North Carolina’s Division of Aging and Adult Services.

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