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How to Determine If Your Parents Need Help at Home

By Jessica Deng

Aging is a part of the cycle of life, and we naturally anticipate that our parents will eventually show certain signs of aging. Many people over 65 are happy, healthy, and independent at home, while some experience changes in mental or physical faculties that cause them to grow less independent with age.Others may have chronic health conditions such as cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.Sometimes signs of aging are indications that a loved one’s health and lifestyle are at stake.

When is it time to sit down and have a conversation with a parent about getting more help at home? Unfortunately, there’s no right answer to this question. By looking out for early signs of declining health, you can put together a plan to help them stay independent as long as possible. Here are a few of the signs your elderly parents may need home health care: 

  • Your parent has begun to miss meetings, appointments, and obligations.
    • We all have moments of forgetfulness, where we put the car keys or can’t remember a phone number. Forgetfulness is a dangerous sign of dementia and Alzheimer’s and parents who have started to miss social events may exhibit early signs of memory loss.
  • They were recently diagnosed with a serious illness.
    • If your parent has been diagnosed with a serious illness, they may need skilled care such as a licensed nurse, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist to manage their symptoms. Some of the conditions that are often managed with home health care include, but are not limited to:
      • Heart failure and other heart conditions
      • Stroke
      • Diabetes
      • COPD and other respiratory conditions
      • Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
      • Parkinson’s disease and other progressive neurological conditions
      • Cancer
  • Decreased Mobility
    • It’s not uncommon for seniors to have trouble with mobility as they age, and an in-home caregiver can make it easier for your parent to get around and maintain his or her freedom.
  • Mood and Behavioral Changes
    • Are your parents acting distant? Apathy and mood changes can be early signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It’s important that your parent engages in the following activities on a regular basis:
      • Learning new things, whether they be knowledge-or-skill based
      • Moderate exercise on a weekly basis
      • Socializing with friends, family, and neighbors
      • Eating healthy and maintaining proper nutrition
  • Poor Personal Hygiene
    • Not bathing for a day or two is one thing but skipping a week (or more) without noticing is a concern. Personal grooming activities, from brushing hair or teeth to trimming nails, can become a daily challenge for aging loved ones. If there’s a noticeable decline in grooming, our caregivers can assist.
  • Loss of Interest in Hobbies (and more)
    • When a loved one stops showing interest in hobbies that were once enjoyable, this is a possible sign of depression, and it’s not uncommon in aging adults. Illness, chronic pain, and physical disability can trigger depression.
  • Unexplained Confusion
    • Parents who get lost, frustrated, or angry are displaying confusion. An early sign of Alzheimer’s and dementia, this symptom warrants home care and additional assistance.

How Can LifeWorx Help?

Once you’ve identified your loved one’s needs and have had a conversation with them about seeking additional help; you’re ready to take the next step. Our care team can help you navigate through the process. This could mean having an in-person meeting at one of our offices, a visit to your loved one’s home, or simply through a phone call.

After our care team assesses your family’s needs, we provide you with 2-3 candidates, where you may interview the candidates and select the caregiver that’s the best match for your family’s needs. At LifeWorx, we do all the behind-the-scenes work so you and your family enjoy the solutions we’ve designed for your needs.

Explore LifeWorx’ in-home elder care services.