When we’re young, most of us assume that our parents will be fit and healthy for a long time to come. We assume that they’ll always be there for us. Few of us think about a time when we might need to take more care of our aging parents, or when they might start to rely on us more.
This can often mean that their declining health and increasing needs can come as a shock. We’re not expecting it, and unfortunately physical and mental decline can start earlier, and more suddenly than we’d imagine. Here’s a look at some of the signs that your aging parents need more help.
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Sometimes our parents don’t need more support because they are struggling with their physical health or cognitive decline. Sometimes they need more help because they are lonely, unhappy, and depressed. This is common for elder people who have recently lost a partner or close friend or retired. Signs of unhappiness can include a loss of interest in hobbies, days out, or visits from family. They might even stop showing an interest in things like TV shows or books.
If you are worried that your aging parents are lonely, a move to a St Louis nursing home might be the best way to improve their mood and mental wellbeing.
A Decline in Personal Hygiene
One of the most obvious signs that your parents are struggling to live alone is a decline in hygiene. You might notice that they aren’t washing frequently, or thoroughly, and they might have started to smell bad. This could be because of increasing forgetfulness, depression, loss of interest, or reduced mobility, but it’s always a sign that they need help.
A Messy Home
Forgetfulness and reduced mobility could also mean that they start to struggle with household chores. If you visit often, it might take a while for their home to become so messy that you notice, but people that visit less often might mention it to you sooner.
As we get older it can become hard to take care of our finances. But failing to do so can mean that we risk getting into debt or trouble, and we are at higher risk of falling victim to scams. As your parents get older, it’s worth speaking to them about money, making sure they know about modern scams, and that they have direct debits set up for payments. Make sure they know that they can come to you if they need help.
An Empty Fridge
As we get older it’s normal for our appetites to diminish. But this can mean that we struggle to get the nutrition that our bodies need. If your parent or parents are eating less, it can be a sign that they are struggling with appetite and memory, or that they aren’t feeling well. You might notice weight loss or fluctuations, or that their fridge and food cupboards are empty.
The good news is that needing more help doesn’t have to mean that their quality of life will suffer. With the right support, your aging parents can have many happy and healthy years ahead of them.