Aging Parents: When to be Concerned for Their Health at Home
As your parents age, you may begin to notice a shift. You likely rely on them less often to get through your daily life, however they may begin to rely on your assistance more and more.
As they age, it doesn’t mean they will automatically lose their independence. Many aging parents can take care of themselves, but there are signs to watch for and outside factors that can alert you to whether their health should be a concern.
Understand when concerns may begin to grow, how to help your parents age well, and when more help may be needed in their care.
When to be Concerned About Your Aging Parents’ Health
There are several signs that can help you understand whether your aging parent may need help.
These signs may seem small but they are important to look for as they give a glimpse into your loved one’s overall wellbeing. Look for these signs, which may start to raise concerns about your parents’ overall health and lifestyle:
- They experience confusion or memory problems
- Their weight significantly changes
- Their appetite has changed
- It is difficult for them to move around their home
- Their mood changes significantly or changes frequently and suddenly
- They have stopped cleaning their home, or begun hoarding tendencies
- They no longer keep in touch with friends or family
- They have difficulty managing their money
- They have stopped going to doctor appointments or taking medications
If your parent has shown any of these behaviors, it’s important to begin the conversation with them and offer your support to help them maintain their health and stay independent for as long as possible.
How to Help Keep Your Parents from Aging Too Quickly at Home
If you realize your parents may need some assistance, you can begin to help them improve their quality of life and ensure that nothing speeds up their ageing process.
From determining enriching things to do regularly, to making sure they can meet their basic responsibilities, to being proactive about their health care, there are many ways you can offer your help.
Be open with your parents about your concerns for them and the support you can provide. From there you can make a plan to step in as little or as much as they need and to make adjustments as they continue to age if needed.
When You May Need More Help to Care for Your Parents
If these signs and conversations lead you to discover that your parents need additional support, there are many options available to maintain their lifestyle.
There are senior-specific services that can come to them at home, such as home health aides or visits from nurses and therapists. If you can’t manage all of the details of their daily care, there are delivery services and other professionals and tools that can bring groceries or meals, deliver medications, provide cleaning and driving services, and even automate their home environment.
If the support needs become more extensive, such as with more serious memory loss or physical limitations, your parents and you may decide that full-service care is needed, such as through an assisted living community.
The transition to assisted living can be prompted by realizations such as the following:
- Seasonal changes: Winter approaches, bringing cooler temperatures and rainy weather, which can present challenges for caregivers helping with the care of their parents at home. Going outside is no longer a nice option for getting out of the house. It can instead cause concern for issues with discomfort in the cold, as well as higher risks of slip or fall accidents when running errands or going to necessary appointments.
- Concerns about health risks: More time spent indoors can propagate the spread of viruses. This is particularly concerning with the coronavirus pandemic and as we approach flu season. It can be difficult for you to control your parents’ environments and activities properly at home, without risking exposure to illness. If a parent gets sick, it can be even more challenging to properly care for them at home. An assisted living community can provide more protections and precautions to give residents safer and higher levels of care and accommodate any unexpected changes to their health.
- Fall risks at home: Your parents’ home may not be optimized for their safety. This is especially concerning if they spend time alone in their home. These factors can increase fall risks, and other injuries or accidents. During the pandemic, planning for and preventing accidents, hospital stays, or injuries is especially important.
The more that can be done to proactively provide care for your parents, the more you can prevent more serious issues that can affect their overall health and strength. This also means you will better avoid potential emergency situations. With a firm handle on their care needs, you will not only be monitoring more closely if changes arise, but will also have a plan in place for how to manage those changes.
How The Kensington Sierra Madre Can Help
The Kensington Sierra Madre is here to support both you and your elderly parents.
As they age and you begin to notice where assistance could improve your parents lives, you can rely on outside services and resources for help.
Start with Kensington Konnect, our hub for informative and entertaining resources for caregivers, seniors, and families, including how-to videos, online classes, virtual tours, concerts, and more.
The Kensington Blog also provides tips, perspective, and informative resources for those caring for loved ones.
If you’re beginning to consider a more all-encompassing approach to providing care for your aging parent, or are just curious about the options you may need to consider in the future, The Kensington Sierra Madre is here to help. We can answer your questions and help you decide the best ways to maintain your parents independence, strength, and health.
Give us a call today to learn more.
To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.