There are some definite warning signs that you want to be aware of when you are caring for your elderly parents. Although most elders prefer to remain in their home, there can be situations that may warn you that living independently might not be the best option. For example, weight loss, forgetfulness, or confusion may be indicative of other problems. Whether your loved one has a long-term medical need or has a more immediate need, nursing home care services should be among the possible options to meet your parent’s needs. Of course, you will want to weigh your parent’s health and happiness, with the support you and your family can offer. If you’re not sure whether your parents should be living alone or not, the following are warning signs that might suggest your parents need additional assistance:
The state of the home
A cluttered home can be a red flag that your parent’s might need assistance. Having home that is cluttered can be unsafe as it can lead to falls or other hazards. If your parent is depressed, or perhaps forgets to do it, getting a cleaner could help. However, if it is more about clutter, spills not being cleaned up, or a refrigerator full of expired food, then it is a sign that your parents might consider long-term care.
Unexplained weight loss
Being fit and active as you get older can be positive. However, if your parent is experiencing unintended weight loss, then you need to investigate it more. Unexplained weight loss can be a sign that your parent is ill or depressed. It could also suggest that your parents have simply forgotten to eat, which can be a red flag for disorders such as dementia.
Struggles to stay in contact
If you are finding it hard to get in contact with your parents, such as struggling to even talk to them on the phone, then you will want to investigate. Is your parent confused about who you are when you call? Does he or she get frustrated using the phone or when on a video call? This can be an indicator that they need help. Your parent may also be vulnerable to phone scams. If they cut off communication entirely, then that is another massive red flag too.
It is vital to discuss care preferences and any unmet needs with your parent. You will also want to keep the lines of communication open so together you can address changes in your parent’s condition.