As elderly parents age, signs may indicate that they are no longer able to live alone safely. Families, at this point, must usher in extra support. Seniors have a myriad of home care options that can ensure they are supervised, assisted, and remain independent in the comfort of home.
Growing older is accompanied by several changes, including those that affect physical abilities and cognitive functions. Exhaustion and immobility are physical challenges that can arise. Older parents who live alone can feel loneliness and isolation when they are homebound due to mobility issues.
Memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is also troubling, as it causes the senior to forget to eat or remember how to operate a stove. Unintended weight loss is just one health consequence of the neglect of everyday self-care activities.
Even when the physical or cognitive health of aging parents decline, they still want to live in the familiarity of home. No matter how overwhelming are the prospects of living alone at home, seniors value their strong ties to their community and do not want to start over.
Furthermore, aging parents are unwilling to give up their independence. Seniors of any ability level can continue to live at home safely when they have the right support. Families are encouraged to turn to home care professionals when the following signs arise, indicating a need for assistance.
1. Noticeable Weight Changes
As mentioned, seniors who forget to eat regular meals can begin to lose weight. Conversely, older adults who are no longer physically able to cook may start eating convenience foods, leading to weight gain. When unintentional weight loss or weight gain occurs, they signal the need for help with meals.
2. Memory Lapses
Serious memory loss is not a normal part of aging. The safety of seniors who get lost when traveling to familiar places, like the bank or grocery store, is at risk. Health complications can manifest when forgetfulness causes seniors to mix up pills or not take prescription medications.
Visiting family members may notice changes to an aging parent’s appearance. Failing to bathe, wearing unwashed clothes, or wearing the same clothes for days in a row can reveal depression, fatigue, or mobility issues. Self-neglect should prompt families to seek extra support.
4. Mobility Issues
Shuffling or taking small, uncertain steps can be indications of emerging mobility issues. If aging parents frequently hold onto the walls for steadiness, their balance and strength may be weakening. When bruises appear on the senior’s skin, they can be the result of falls.
Plus, older parents who spend significant time in bed or on the couch may be suffering from an undiagnosed illness. If they avoid walking around the home, it may be due to a fear of falling. Any of these situations are clear indications that they require assistance at home.
5. Lack of Home Maintenance
A clean home supports health and well-being. But when dishes pile up, the lawn is uncut or the windows are broken, it’s a sign that the aging parent has difficulty maintaining the home. An unkempt home likely means the senior may no longer be able to live alone.
6. Social Isolation
A once-socially active parent can become homebound and depressed. Challenges to physical mobility and no longer driving can worsen a senior’s feeling of isolation. Since staying social is critical to emotional health, seniors who are further isolated by living alone need companionship.
Everyone who lives alone succumbs to forgetfulness every now and then. When an aging parent repeatedly forgets doctors’ appointments or important events and hides their memory issues, it suggests that they are aware of their problem but do not want to admit it.
8. Frequent Exhaustion
Several health conditions can cause exhaustion in the elderly, signaling a need for help. Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are linked to fatigue. Depression, grief, and stress are mental conditions that can lead to sleeplessness or exhaustion.
9. Medical Diagnosis
A recent visit to a healthcare provider can result in the diagnosis of a physical or cognitive impairment. When disease strikes, the aging parent is likely to require assistance to live safely at home alone. Dementias, for instance, progress steadily, meaning memory care will be essential.
Any of the abovementioned scenarios are markers that show that an aging parent should no longer live alone but receive some type of extra help. Families are oftentimes too busy juggling their own households, children, and work responsibilities to be a constant source of care.
Rather than rely solely on relatives to provide the ongoing help an aging parent needs, families are advised to seek the support from reputable home care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care. We provide a wide range of non-medical elder care services to keep seniors safe, healthy, and well.
Responsibilities our professional caregivers undertake include help with personal hygiene tasks, like bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming. We provide safe transportation to doctors’ appointments and senior centers, which are necessary for the physical and social health, respectively, of the elderly.
Seniors in our care eat nutritiously, as our caregivers shop for fresh foods and prepare balanced meals. Your aging parent’s home will be hygienic and comfortable with our light housekeeping services. We regularly remove clutter and other fall hazards to prevent a senior from falling.
Assisting Hands Home Care offers specialized care, too. Our compassionate memory care services are valued by families with seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Families that provide the majority of care benefit from our respite care services—which gives them a deserving break.
We also offer live-in care when seniors require ongoing supervision. If the senior in your life aims to live at home but cannot live alone, Assisting Hands Home Care is the solution. Schedule an in-home consultation for senior home care, and take an important step toward improved health and safety.