From spoiled food to living in the same pair of pajamas, certain signs can suggest an aging parent needs help now.
“Always note anything out of character,” says geriatric psychologist Melissa Henston. “I once told my dad, ‘Dad, you can’t eat this stuff. Ham isn’t supposed to be green.’”
No one knows your parents or loved ones like you do — something unusual for them may be an everyday situation at another person’s parents’ home. Still, it’s helpful to know common warning signs that may signal trouble.
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Whether you’re visiting in person or catching up via video chat, look out for these 18 signs:
If you notice any of these signs, it may be helpful to write down your concerns. Talking with your siblings and other relatives, or perhaps planning an elder care family meeting, can be extremely helpful.
Once you’ve identified your loved one’s needs and you’re ready to take the next step, our Senior Living Advisors can help you navigate the process. This could mean comparing care types and senior living communities, learning how to pay for care, planning a smooth transition, or scheduling virtual or in-person tours of senior living communities.
The aging process looks different for everyone, but taking proactive steps by getting your loved one the care they need can have a positive impact on their overall health and wellness. Perhaps they only require help with household chores and routine errands. Or, maybe they could benefit from the additional companionship that comes with independent living or home care. For those in need of more hands-on assistance throughout the day, assisted living or a care home setting may be a better fit. Remember: Getting a feel for dining plans and activities schedules is just as crucial as selecting a community that offers the necessary care services, so don’t hesitate to ask questions during a tour.
Sometimes recognizing the initial signs is the biggest hurdle, but once you’ve realized a parent needs help, there are resources available to make the next steps as smooth as possible.
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.