As people grow older, more than physical signs of aging become apparent. Declining memory, eyesight, strength, and agility are common elderly decline signs, but there are many other reg flags to look out for. Continue reading this article to learn more about:
There’s a good chance no one knows your parents better than you and your siblings. That means you’ll likely be one of the first people to recognize elderly decline signs in them. While you’re sure to notice physical signs of aging, signs a senior needs help at home aren’t always as apparent.
Not being able to remain in close contact with parents and older adult loved ones is a prime example of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many people’s lives. If you’ve been unable to sit in the same room as a parent and had to rely on phone calls or Zoom chats, the signs of declining capabilities are more challenging to spot.
What may seem like forgetfulness that’s a natural part of the aging process may be a more serious issue. But if your instincts are telling you something is off with your parents, you’re probably right. And while no one wants to admit their parents are showing elderly decline signs, doing so helps you find care for your loved ones in need.
From minimal physical activity to drastic personality changes, there are several signs a senior needs help at home. It’s important to note that certain behaviors that would indicate extreme behavioral or mental changes in one person might be the norm for another. With that being said, let’s examine some of the most common signs aging parents need help.
Have you noticed your once happy-go-lucky parent now displaying signs of anger, sadness, or irritability? Are they treating you, your family members, and their friends differently? Are they snapping at you over minor issues? If so, your loved one is showing elderly decline signs. A sudden lack of energy can be more than a physical sign of aging. It can be an indication of depression or cognitive decline.
Likewise, a sudden disinterest in hobbies and activities that once brought them joy indicates you should look into home care services. Giving up on their favorite things can manifest itself into other problems as well.
If you once classified your mother or father as a neat freak, but they now have piles of unwashed dishes, dirty laundry, and garbage accumulating, this is a strong indication that something is wrong. Unattended yards, gardens, and planters are also elderly decline signs. Broken or malfunctioning household items like lamps, smoke detectors, and appliances are other causes for concern.
Have everyday tasks like vacuuming, cooking, and getting the mail become confusing or difficult for your loved one? If chores that were once part of a daily routine now seem burdensome or unfamiliar, a family caregiver may be necessary.
One of the more alarming signs a senior needs help at home is eating expired foods or not eating at all. A healthy diet is essential for the mental and physical health of older adults. Quick and noticeable weight loss or gain can result from poor dietary habits combined with a lack of physical activity. If they’re eating moldy or expired food, they’re not only getting improper nutrition—they’re risking illness.
Not following recommended intervals for taking medications, forgetting to take them, or accidentally overusing them are all signs aging parents need help. Mismanaging pills can lead to more severe health risks like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and worsening diabetes side effects.
A key nonphysical sign of aging is poor money management. If an older adult routinely fails to pay bills, bounces checks, or disregards late payment notices, you should look to provide some form of senior care.
Torn, dirty, or foul-smelling clothing is a sign that your loved one may not be able to dress appropriately. If this is paired with heaps of uncleaned clothes laying around, you have a clear sign a senior needs help at home.
Bad breath, body odor, easily observed tooth degradation, unwashed hair, and refusals to shower, shave, or wash are elderly decline signs you should also be concerned about.
One of the earliest signs of declining mental capabilities is forgetfulness. While we all misplace things from time to time, constantly being unable to remember necessary appointments or where they placed keys, wallets, purses, medications, and other essential items are signs of aging parents needing help.
Aching backs, creaking knees, and stiff joints are not uncommon, but are physical signs of aging to take note of. If your loved one struggles to stand or sit, get out of bed, or maneuver up and down stairs, they’re showing elderly decline signs that go beyond the norm. A lack of mobility often worsens many of the other signs a senior needs help at home.
Unexplained bruising, scratches, or other injuries are strong indicators of older adults falling or bumping into things. While grab bars and walkers may help, they’re not a long-term solution.
Do you have a loved one displaying signs a senior needs help at home? Reach out to MDC Healthcare. We specialize in enhancing the quality of life for those that need care.
If your loved one still drives, even if it’s just short distances out of necessity, dents, dings, or more severe damage to their car is a sign aging parents need help. Not only does a decline in driving ability endanger them, but it also puts fellow drivers at undue risk. Telling a loved one they should no longer drive can be difficult, but necessary in many instances.
If you’ve noticed any concerning signs a senior needs help at home, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. Many adult children play a pivotal role in caring for their elderly or medically frail parents, but they’re not a replacement for professional home care services. You have your own family, job, and life to attend to, and taking full responsibility for a loved one is a lot to take on alone.
Let’s take a look at ways to help your elderly parents stay home while receiving the care and attention they deserve:
If you want to remain deeply involved with your parents’ care and want to enjoy some much-needed time away, respite care is a great option. This home health service provides your loved one with an in-home caregiver that attends to their needs for the amount of time you require. Whether you need to attend an important meeting in the afternoon or leave town for a few weeks, respite care assists your loved one with their daily living while you’re away.
Personal care services enable your parent to remain in their home on their own terms while also assisting with daily living activities. Whether they’re chronically ill or medically frail, feeding, bathing, dressing, and toileting can be a struggle or even impossible to do on their own. A home health aid helps them retain their independence while simplifying necessary tasks.
Available as a daily or live-in service, personal care also supports older adults craving friendship and understanding. Helping your loved one receive this level of hands-on care also gives you peace of mind knowing their mobility, grooming, hygiene, and nutrition needs are attended to.
Senior companion care goes beyond assisting your loved one with daily activities—it provides friendship and emotional support. Your parent’s care companion fulfills tasks like grocery shopping, routine housekeeping, and meal preparation that the physical signs of aging limit them from doing.
Just as important is the companionship your parent receives from their caregiver. Loneliness and isolation have damaging effects on people of all ages. Having a friendly, familiar person to talk about life with and rely on helps them stay connected to the world and brings comfort.
Senior companion care and personal care are similar, but have distinct differences. Personal care providers are trained and certified to provide hands-on care, while care companions can’t perform tasks that require direct physical contact.
If your aging loved one shouldn’t be at home alone or feels lonely and craves social interactions, adult day care services are an ideal solution. Adult day cares are professional facilities where medically frail or older adults can participate in group activities, connect with others, and receive the attention and hot meals they need.
Getting around and taking care of oneself following injury, surgery, or a health condition can be beyond challenging. Professional therapeutic services offer the support older adults, temporarily disabled, or immobilized loved ones need.
Therapeutic services include:
MDC understands handing over the care of your parent to someone else can be an uncomfortable experience. But our team is highly experienced in delivering exceptional care to those displaying signs a senior needs help at home. We treat each of our patients with the love and respect we treat our own family.
Our highly diverse caregiver team consists of people from many different backgrounds and cultures, so your loved one can always feel comfortable. Additionally, we can accommodate 18 different languages, so there’s no communication barrier. If you want to ensure your parent receives the highest level of care in Georgia, reach out to MDC Healthcare today.
MDC Healthcare delivers customizable, affordable, and culturally sensitive in-home health services to communities in Georgia.