If you’re like most grown children with aging parents, you’ve experienced a few sleepless nights wondering if mom and dad can still continue to age in place on their own. You’ve watched for any signs they’re slowing down, and so far their health and wellbeing appear to be fine. So why are you worried? The truth is that most seniors that age in place will eventually reach a point when diminishing health becomes an issue, impacting their ability to stay at home. And because of pride and the fact they enjoy their privacy and independence, most seniors don’t want to discuss the topic with their kids. What you can do is non-intrusively watch their activities to ensure they can continue living comfortably and safely at home for now. To assist your efforts, here are some of the positive signs to look for.
Quality-of-Life Concerns for Seniors
According to senior care experts, there are several quality-of-life parameters you can monitor without putting your parents on the defensive. Those include:
Are mom and dad keeping up their appearances like before? Look for signs that your parents’ grooming and bathing habits are still good, and that their clothing and linens are washed and clean.
Does it seem like your parents are eating healthy meals, have plenty of nutritious food in their home, and that they are cleaning up their dishes and cookware? It’s also a good idea to monitor their safe use of kitchen appliances.
Housework and Home Upkeep
Does their living space seem clean and tidy? Casually check various areas while in their home, for example the bathrooms, for signs of disarray. Look for furniture and carpeting stains, and spoiled food in the fridge. Make sure your parents have functioning heat and A/C. Are the yard and outside of their home still being kept up like before?
Their Safety and Mobility
Have either slipped and fallen recently in the bathroom? Are they having trouble getting up and down stairs? If you suspect that your parents are having mobility issues, offer to retrofit their bathroom with bathing and toileting safety features. Make sure other areas of the home, like the stairs, have also been updated to accommodate their changing mobility needs. And finally, discuss with your mom and dad the importance of knowing who to contact in case of an emergency like a bad fall.
Can one or both still safely operate a vehicle? No senior likes to give up their driving privileges, but if you’ve noticed several suspicious dents and scratches on their car it may be time to have “the talk” with your parents about turning over the car keys. If driving’s become a concern, make sure they have reliable transportation for getting to and from activities and appointments.
Do your parents have friends they spend time with? Are they getting out of the house much? Social isolation for elderly persons is not healthy, and can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. Watch for signs that they are still spending time doing activities they enjoy with one another and friends.
When you’re over at your parents’ house, are there stacks of unpaid bills with late notices lying around? Do they complain about frequent calls from bill collectors? Look for signs that their standard of living hasn’t diminished, and that they have the funds they need to live comfortably. Also be cognizant of strange people doing a lot of work around your parents’ home. Financial scammers love to target the elderly, including dishonest in-home caregivers.
Are mom and dad remembering to take their prescription medications like they should? Have either experienced a recent hospitalization or medical emergency due to mismanaging their meds? Check for bottles of expired medications in their home, along with pills that are spread out in several rooms without structure.
When one parent begins to experience deteriorating health, their spouse usually becomes their caregiver. However, doing so can quickly become stressful and fatiguing for the other partner, negatively affecting their health and wellbeing. Be watchful for indications that’s happening. When it does, some in-home caregiving by family members or a trusted outside professional may be necessary.
We Specialize in Helping Seniors Age in Place
You love your parents and want them to enjoy living independently at home for as long as possible. But there will come a time when one or both may require some care to continue doing so. Serving as a family caregiver is highly rewarding, but there will come a time when you’ll need a break. And that’s when one of the experienced caregivers from Cranberry Home Care can step in and put your mind at-ease.
All our home care aids are carefully-screened, highly-trained, and understand how to deliver the reliable in-home care that your mom or dad deserves. Our family-trusted, senior home care services include light housework, personal hygiene, meal preparation, transportation and companionship, all delivered in an affordable package individually tailored to meet your parents’ needs. To schedule a free initial consultation, or to learn more about the ways Cranberry Home Care keeps seniors in the Middleboro, MA area aging happily in place, visit: www.cranberryhomecare.com now!