Many aging adults experience health changes that can limit their ability to live alone as they may need help to carry out daily tasks such as housekeeping, planning and preparation of meals, and others. Your aging parent may refuse to ask for help or support when they need it. It’s left to you to look for signs that your parent shouldn’t live alone anymore. Whether you are visiting or on a video call with them, below are some of the common signs to look out for.
Condition of Their Home
If your elderly parent has always been the one with a high sense of cleanliness, you will definitely know when there is something wrong just by looking at their home. If you ever notice their home being messy with many clutters, there is a need to worry. A messy home can be a sign of depression or a recent physical inability to do house maintenance. Some major examples to look out for are:
- Piles of trash
- Spoiled food
- Dirty laundry
- Piles of dirty dishes
- … and so on
Unexplainable Weight Loss/Gain
If your loved one has been losing or gaining weight suddenly without an explanation, you need to pay close attention to them. If the weight gain or loss is not due to dieting, it could be that:
- They are not eating properly
- They are sick and aren’t aware
- They don’t have an appetite or often forget to eat
- They are depressed and that is affecting their appetite
Poor Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is a serious sign you shouldn’t overlook especially if your aging parent has always been really neat. Poor hygiene can happen due to the physical inability to carry out self-grooming. Your aging parent may also forget to take care of their mouth and body.
Difficulty Putting Words Together
When you call your elderly parent and they have trouble speaking or putting words together, you need to pay attention to them. This problem can happen due to hearing decline and the inability to comprehend your words.
Several Unpaid Bills
Forgetting to pay bills once in a while is normal but can be a sign of worry when it becomes a frequent occurrence. If your parent keeps forgetting to pay a bill they have been paying for years, look into the problem. It could be due to mismanagement of funds, which can happen to aged adults.
Many aging adults face one memory problem or the other as they age and that can cause quite a number of problems. Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging but any form of cognitive decline is not normal and should be treated. Memory care and assisted living are both popular care options for aging adults with dementia and other cognitive problems.
If you have noticed that your aging loved one has been falling more frequently and suffering injuries, you need to pay more attention to them. Most falls are often caused by weakness, poor vision, and household clusters. It’s risky to have an adult fall without having any assistance to help them home or get them to the clinic in cases of emergency.