7 Elder Care Warning Signs – Is It Time For Elder Care?
How to Know When It’s Time for Elder Care
What is Elder Care? The definition is fairly simple: It’s the care of an elderly individual. Figuring out when your aging parent will need Elder Care is another ball game all together.
Unfortunately, growing old for many seniors citizens is not easy. It isn’t easy for the children of the aging parent either. Most family members or children to the aging parent truly want to do the best they can for their parent, but sometimes they just don’t know what to do or the clear decision is a very difficult one to make. It become extremely difficult to make a decision to get Elder Care for your parent when there is an agreement in place that states that the aging parent desire is to stay in their own home.
There will come a time when this decision will need to be made. If your aging parent is living in your home with you – you may have a bit more time before the decision for Elder Care is made. However, do understand that even if you are the one caring for your parent it is still called Elder Care, so you have already taken step one in the Elder Care process.
Always keep in mind that the health and safety of your aging parent and your emotional well being is at stake the longer you put off a decision you know you need to make. Remove the guilt you may be feeling when it comes to making the best choices and decisions for your aging parent…You wouldn’t be feeling the way you do if you didn’t want the best for your parent.
What are the 7 Elder Care Warning Signs?
1. Falls and Other Injuries: Are you noticing more falls lately? Falls tend to come form the loss of balance… we all lose the ability to maintain our balance as we get older.
What about other injuries, have you noticed any bruises or burns on your aging parents hands that could have happened while cooking? Look carefully at the situation before you make a decision for Elder Care.
I know my parent was having some difficulty with keeping her balance and was showing signs of more falls, but there were other things at play and once those things were rectified she did much better. Her medications were off.
2. Weight Loss: Is your parent rapidly losing weight? Weight loss in an aging parent could be caused by many things, but more or less if you are thinking Elder Care for your parent chances are that they are no longer able to prepare meals like the used to do. And, they may not be eating like they used to.
Many times you will find that they simply forgot to eat their meals. Aging parents who are getting to that “forgetful” stage, could eventually suffer from malnutrition. Putting Meals on Wheels in place is a good place to start but, if this is the case, Elder Care is probably the right decision for them.
3. Anti-social/Hermit Behavior: If your parent was once the life of the party and now you’re seeing your parent sitting home all of the time and not wanting to go out at all could be mean they need elder care and have someone go with your parent.
My mother had to go to the hospital for an x-ray on her foot. She was fine until she realized that she would have to go into the x-ray department by herself. Once she found out that I could go with her she was calm again.
It turned out that she was afraid she would get lost back there when it was time to leave and she wouldn’t be able to find me.
4. Unorganized: Have you noticed your parent becoming unorganized? Are they paying their bills on time or at all? Have they experienced their lights or other utilities being shut off due to non-payment? Again, this could be due to the natural aging process and “forgetfulness”.
My mother never did her own bills so she never really knew how or when to do them.
5. Dangerous Behavior: Have you noticed your aging parent leaving something on the stove, or leaving the stove on? Sometimes an aging parent will forget to turn off running water, causing it to run over a flood. Have you noticed your parent using a utensil for something other than eating? Such as; using a sharp knife to open something and then leaving in a place where they or someone else could get cut by it?
6. Self-Care: Is your parent bathing and combing their hair and changing their clothes? How does their home look? Are they picking up after themselves or are they just letting things pile up? Are they doing their laundry and are they wearing clean clothes? Did your parent go from being neat and clean to dirty? It’s different if they were always messy, it’s the changes you are looking for in their home. If things are changing you may need to make decisions or Elder Care.
You see that they don’t bathe or forget to bathe. They may neglect to brush their hair or to do their laundry. If they have a pet, they may neglect taking care of the pet or allow it to go to the bathroom inside the home and not clean it up.
7. Continuous Repeating: Is your parent asking the same questions over and over? When you take them to the doctors office how many times do they ask; “Where are we going’? They don’t seem to remember that they even had a doctors appointment for that day, even though you reminded them many times.
If you have gone through the whole list above and you can say that your parent is in this category, meaning you said, “Yep, that’s my parent”, then you may need to make some arrangements for your aging parent. Will your parent come and live with you, or will you need to make other arrangements? Do you think your parent needs to go to a care facility such as a personal care home or a nursing home? Or maybe you could get in home care for them, either at their home or maybe you will decide to move him into your home with you. There are many options to consider.
But first, you need to determine how much your aging parent can still do for himself. Ability to do:
- Feed himself
- Bathe himself
- Dress himself
- Toilet himself
- Get around on his own
If you decide to bring your parent into your home there are questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have the space?
- Are you willing to modify your home?
- -Chair lifts for getting up stairs
- -Hospital beds
- Can you provide the care he needs? Could there be some heavy lifting involved?
- Can you provide the equipment he may need?
If you decide to bring your aging parent into your home and care for him, you will also need additional support for when you are not there, however there are options such as Elder Nanny and Senior or Elder Daycare. If you can’t bring him into your home, check out the other options available such as nursing homes, personal care homes.
Needless to say if your parent is showing the 7 Elder Care Warning Signs -Is It Time For Elder Care is a question only you can answer and I hope to help you get the information you need to make the decisions you need to make.