The holidays are generally a season for gathering and sharing traditions. Grandparents welcome the excuse to spoil their grandchildren, while adult siblings enjoy reminiscing about holidays past. While the holidays are often a time of joy, for some adult children, spending time with their aging parents offers a glimpse into their lives that may be difficult to see.
Facing the reality that your parents are getting older is challenging for many adult children. They often have to navigate the thin line between respecting their parents’ privacy and intervening before it’s too late. If you are an adult child concerned about your aging parents, here are five obvious signs that they need more help.
The first sign that an older adult may need more help is a messy home. A quick glance around your parents’ home can help you determine whether or not they’re doing okay. Does their home seem unusually dusty or dirty? Are there a lot of dishes in the sink or take-out containers left on the counter? Do they have expired food in the refrigerator? Is their laundry piled high? If they’ve never kept an immaculate and tidy home, they’re not likely to now. You can still notice other signs, such as neglected home repairs or abandoned property. Overly messy homes generally mean that your aging parents need help with housekeeping and maintenance or need to find a smaller space that they can maintain with ease.
Another sign that it’s time for more help is an unkempt appearance. Again, it’s important to distinguish between personal preference and the need for help. If mom never cared to wear much makeup or dad only shaved weekly, they are most likely fine. What’s concerning are noticeable body odors, dirty or long fingernails, uncombed hair, or wearing dirty clothes. When your aging parents seem to struggle to look presentable for company or to go out, it might be time for them to receive more help.
Overwhelmed Facial Expressions
When you talk with your parents, pay attention to their body language and facial expressions. Ask them about their daily routine and listen for feelings of anxiety. Check-in often and notice if their expressions and demeanor relax or grow more anxious. If they can’t seem to navigate their day, it could indicate they need more help.
Another sign that your parents need more help can be seen in their finances. While finances are often a touchy subject, you can ask basic questions without needing to know the details. Ask if they feel confident in the way they are handling their finances. Ask if they continue to meet with a financial advisor or how they are investing their money. Ask about their health insurance plan and whether or not they have the confidence to select the best plan. Look for bills with late notices. If they seem to be struggling to manage their finances, it could mean that they need more help.
Finally, another sign that your parents need more help is slower mobility. While it is normal for older adults to slow down with age, it’s not always normal for them to struggle with basic mobility. Notice how difficult it is for your parents to navigate their home, get in and out of a chair, use the bathroom, or bathe. How’s their reaction time? Can they still drive, and do they feel confident driving? Do they struggle to run errands or buy groceries? If it seems that your parents are moving more and more slowly, it might be time for more help.
After a busy holiday season, the last thing you want to add to your plate is finding the appropriate care for your aging parents. Fortunately, Senior Living Solutions is here for you. We already know the best options available for older adults and can help you navigate the ins and outs of senior care. Whether your parents prefer to age-in-place or would prefer to live in a community setting with other seniors, we offer free senior placement services. Please don’t wait another day to get your parents the help they need. Please contact us by calling 501-650-3013 and schedule an appointment today.