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In-Home Care: Signs Your Parent May Need Support


Living close to our elderly parents is great for family and staying connected, however, there are many of us who either live abroad or in another state, which makes it nearly impossible to check in on our parents as much as we’d like to. With distance in particular, more time may have passed since your last visit, and you may start noticing some significant changes in your parents’ physical and emotional well-being. There will be signs and here we explore what to look out for.

Even if you have independent parents, it’s important to take note of any changes, no matter how small. As we age, we have an incessant need to cling to our independence, even it if means hiding our decline from family and friends for many reasons, including not wanting to admit we need help or become a burden. This is when support is needed and reassurances are given that they still have their independence but with a little help from a professional home care provider. At Home Care Assistance, we are here to help.

Signs Your Parent May Need Support

  1. Mobility. Any changes in mobility such as how steady they are on their feet or how they navigate stairs and get around are all things to pay attention to.
  2. Medication errors. Forgetfulness when it comes to taking medication or even medication that has expired.
  3. Problems with cooking or shopping. Look inside the fridge and pantry for spoiled or expired food, and if food is being cooked and eaten.
  4. Poor hygiene. Poor hygiene is a red flag that something is wrong. It could be that your parent forgets to have a bath, or is afraid of falling due to experiencing cognitive decline.
  5. Driving. Driving with them will reveal a lot about their abilities (or lack thereof) regarding safe driving. Look for dents and dings on the car.
  6. Memory loss. Frequent hesitation in finding words or using word substitutions can indicate the first stages of memory loss.
  7. Social isolation. Loneliness affects many older adults. If your parent is no longer driving or visiting friends and family, social isolation can increase leading to other health issues.

Talking to a Parent About In-Home Care

When it becomes evident that our aging parents need some additional assistance in the home, the next step is broaching the subject. It is never easy, but it’s important to prepare for your conversation. Here are a few ways we recommend approaching the discussion around in-home care with patience, compassion, and respect.

  1. Make a list. Before talking with your parent, make a list of your concerns. You may have the conversation in person or over the phone, but you will want to talk about specific issues.
  2. Know your options. Be informed by researching the many in-home care options and aged care services available. Connect with aged care providers such as Home Care Assistance – ask questions.
  3. Prepare for a long journey. Your parent may be resistant to the idea of in-home care, so be prepared to have more than one talk.
  4. Start slow. Plan to negotiate a very light home care schedule to start. Your parents want to feel they are in control and the best way to do that is to reach a consensus.
  5. Factor in feelings of guilt and remorse. Ask yourself how caring for your parents may affect your relationships with siblings and other immediate family members.
  6. Begin the conversation early. Commonly, families wait to start the discussion only after an emergency, like a fall.

Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home.  Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with us.

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