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7 Elder Care Warning Signs

7 Elder Care Warning Signs – Is It Time For Elder Care?

How to Know When It’s Time for Elder Care

Elder Care Warning Signs

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?

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.

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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.

 

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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.

 

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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.

 

 

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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?

 

 

 

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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.

 

 

Elder Care Warning Signs 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?
  1. -Chair lifts for getting up stairs
  2. -Wheelchairs
  3. -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.

 

-Virginia Bower

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Elder Care Stress

Elder Care Stress

Eldercare - Stress

 

Elder Care Stress : How to deal with Stress Related to Taking Care of an Elderly Parent.

When it comes to Elder Care Stress just know this: Emotions can run the gamut when caring for an elderly parent. But, the stress isn’t just on the side of the care giver, the elderly parent also feels stress as well. Aging parents as well as care givers can feel:

  • Frustration
  • Resentment
  • Anger and
  • Grief

Both of your lives are changing and this is what may cause you to feel resentment. Anger steps in when the care giver begins to feel helpless and can’t help your aging parent with the path that aging is taking him or her. Your relationship is changing to one that feels backward or in reverse and that may cause you to feel grief over the loss of the relationship you once had with your parent.

This is normal, you didn’t stop and think that the day would come that the big strong man your father once was, would now depend on you for everything. Now you are the big strong one and he looks so small and frail.

Elder Care Stress : You are now the parent, but was once the child. And, most caregivers feel a sense of guilt for feeling this way. This guilt can cause an enormous amount of stress for the caregiver. Your life feels like everything is out of control when it was once controlled and orderly.

As you, the caregiver, watch your elderly parent decline in health and mental status the daily pressures will mount. I can hear you, you are asking: When did this happen? When did he get old? Why doesn’t he/she know how to do this anymore? And you begin to hear words that you don’t know or don’t under stand such as: Dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, long term care…

Elder Care Stress

If the Elder Care Stress reaches a high enough level, you as the caregiver will begin to experience burnout.  There are ways to head off the burnout stage of elder care.

Parenting your own parent is what it really boils down to. And, this is unfamiliar ground. It doesn’t feel right at first, but as time goes on and you begin to see how little your aging parent can actually do, you will automatically help them continue to do it or you will do it form them. This isn’t about love and how close you are to your parent. It’s about having to take care of someone else’s personal health and well being, as well as their financial well being. It’s a lot to take on.

If you still have children at home the stress level is much higher as in the article: Sandwich Generation – Are you a Member? When you add in your own children you are dealing with two different generations. Health issues common to the care giver:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Mounting frustration

Caregivers, especially if you are the child of the elderly person, will put the needs of the parent before the need of yourself. Because there are only so many hours in a day and so much to do for your parent and possibly your children, you tend to skip meals, cancel events with your own friends and spend all of your time caring for others.

This is a mistake and it will heighten the Elder Care Stress that is already present. In the long run you will end up with emotional and physical issues if you neglect yourself. It is not selfish to put yourself first. If you are a caretaker, you must put yourself first. If you plan to continue caring for your elderly parent then you need to make sure that you are able to do that and that means taking care of yourself first.

 

You will also need time off, whether that is to go out with your husband, friend, time alone  or a long awaited vacation away from home. You could get other family members to kick in and help while you are taking a break. However, from my experience don’t hold your breath…  you could start looking into other alternative measures such as:

  • Assisted living
  • Elder Care Nanny
  • Personal care homes
  • and then as a last resort you could look into what nursing homes are all about and what they could offer down the road.

Finding a person or a place to cover for you will lead possibly to more stress. Such as stress of elder abuse and elder fraud but you can read more about those later. Try finding a rusted family member to take over while you take a break.

 

Elder Care Stress

One of the best things you can do is find other people who are also going through what you are also dealing with Elder Care Stress. You are not the only one who has found themselves in the position of taking care of their elderly parent. Look around for a support group where you can share with others the emotions of being a caregiver.

Talking and sharing with others will lighten the load of stress. You will be able to hear what others are going through as well. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and eating well. Take care of yourself, because if you don’t? Someone will be taking care of you a whole lot sooner than you think. Besides that, if you aren’t in a physically healthy place you will not be able to continue to take care of your elderly parent. And, deep down in your heart you know you want what is best for your parents, they always wanted what was best for you.

And, sometimes what is best for your aging parent may be finding them a suitable place for them to live and get the care they need. Again there is no reason to feel guilty if you just can’t take care of your parent.

So, hang in there and do the right thing and that right thing starts with taking care of you so that you can take care of them. Here are a few resources for you to check out:

Elder Care Stress6 Tips to Ease Stress for Elder Caregivers – Stapleton Elder …

http://blog.elderlaw-va.com/

Here are six suggestions to help prepare for some of the most common stressful situations that can occur during elder care. The role of an elder caregiver is not an easy one, and many find themselves taking on this role …

Read more …

 

Elder Care StressBeating Caregiver Stress – Elder Care Resources Edmonton

http://www.eldercareresourcesedmonton.com/

Are you an informal or family caregiver for an elderly person? If you are, you are not alone.

Read more …

 

 

Elder Care StressSimple Tips to Reduce Stress While Caring for an Elder …

http://nightingales.in/

Dealing with caregiver stress becomes a reality when taking care of an elderly individual. It could be a family member, such as a grandparent or parents, it could be a friend, or it could be part of a job. No matter who the elderly …

Read more …

 

-Virginia Bower

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