Looking after a family member who is ageing can be a huge weight on the shoulders. Perhaps there's been a time when you popped in to say hello to mum and noticed the mountain of unopened mail lying at the door or the time dad had a few bruises that he couldn't explain. Discussing this issue isn't easy either, most of the time you will probably be answered with a 'Don't worry about me. Everything is fine'. Admitting help is not easy and the fear of being robbed of independence can be daunting.
Dawn Roberts, Director and Founder of Waveney Home Care says,
"Denial is the impractical hope that an issue is not actually happening and will go by itself. Admitting they need help and assistance is difficult for people as they age. It can mean a loss of independence. Denial plays a huge role – and signs get ignored,"
It is not an easy task or responsibility to look out for signs that a parent might need assistance with daily living tasks. However this does not mean they need a full time carer or a nursing home but rather a small hand to make living at home easier and more comfortable.
Here are some indicators that your parent might need help:
1. Finding spoilt food items past expiration date
2. Forgetting to take medication or taking more than the prescribed amount.
3. Bruises and cuts that appear with no explanation.
4. Trouble getting up out of bed or chairs and getting around the house.
5. Uncertainty and confusion with familiar taks.
6. Changes in mood or temperamental.
7. Forgetfulness, diagnosis of dementia.
8. Loss of interest in activities and hobbies.
9. Infrequent cleaning; strong smell of urine in home.
10. Poor diet, food with low nutritional value.
11. Body odour.
12. Missed appointments.
13. Late payment of bills, bounces cheques and called from bill collectors.
14. Lots of clutter and uncleaned laundry.
15. Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility.