How to Tell When an Aging Parent Needs a Caregiver

August 30, 2019 | BY PHS Staff

If you are an adult child of an aging parent, chances are you’ve started considering when you’ll need extra care. Caring for a parent, especially when they have mobility or health issues, or if they have been recently diagnosed with dementia, can be draining, frustrating and downright scary. This is compounded if you also have your own family and work schedule to worry about.

The toll of caring for aging parents has very real and very significant effects. Recent studies show that 10 percent of adults between the ages of 60 and 69 whose parents are still alive act as caregivers, and 12 percent of adults age 70 and older do as well. While you may love your parent, you may also be struggling with feelings of guilt, regret, frustration, fatigue and even anger.

It’s crucial as a caregiver that you get the respite you need on a regular basis. That’s when an in home caregiver can come in handy. Senior caregivers are trained to monitor changes in health and behavior, help with medication, assist with eating and bathing, and offer Alzheimer’s and memory care services.

The next question on your mind may be: how can you tell when your aging parent needs such a caregiver?

Here are some signs you may be in need of at home senior care.

Difficulty With Basic Tasks

You may start to notice your parent is having difficulty with or can’t perform routine activities of daily living (known for short as ADLs) such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Transferring (i.e., from the bed to a chair)
  • Walking
  • Eating

Changes in Physical Appearance

You may notice:

  • Weight loss, perhaps due to difficulty cooking, eating, shopping for groceries on their own
  • Sloppy appearance or poor hygiene (difficulty bathing, dressing, grooming)
  • Black-and-blue marks on the body which may indicate a fall has taken place and that they are having trouble walking, balancing, or moving from place to place
  • Burns on the skin may mean they’re having problems with cooking

Physical Clues Around the Home

There are some things around your aging parent’s home that may raise a red flag, such as:

  • The yard or house has fallen into disrepair and is not being maintained as it once was. (Your parent may be having trouble completing normal household or yard tasks.)
  • Dents and scratches on the car may indicate impaired driving ability.
  • Carpet stains, often caused by spilling beverages or dropping food.
  • Urine odor in house, signaling incontinence.
  • Pots and pans with burn marks may alert you that your loved one is forgetting about food left on the stove.
  • Unopened mail and subsequent unpaid bills indicate difficulty completing regular tasks. (This could show they are having problems with dexterity to open the mail, or even forgetting to get the mail at all.)
  • Unfilled prescriptions
  • Low food supply

Warning Signs of Dementia

You may also be noticing some early warning signs that your loved one is developing dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairment:

  • Consistent lapses in memory
  • Confusion
  • Lack of reasoning skills
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Frequent misplacement of items
  • Tendency to get lost walking or driving
  • Repetitive speech
  • Inability to complete sentences
  • Rapid mood swings or changes in behavior
  • Personality changes
  • Wearing the same clothes day after day
  • Inability to remember names of familiar people or objects
  • Lack of initiative

If you have noticed any of the above warning signs and are getting concerned for your aging parent’s safety and well-being, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Preferred HealthStaff. We have the resources and professionals to provide the care and assistance your loved one needs at home.

Call us now at 717-642-8500 or toll free at 866-943-9791.