6 Signs To Look For in Aging Parents

Realizing that your beloved family member may need additional assistance with everyday wellness tasks can be surprising, and figuring out the best living arrangements can be emotional. Aging adults often brush off cues that a senior living community might be the best solution for them. Though it is certainly important to take their thoughts into consideration, sometimes the signs that they need additional help are too overwhelming to ignore. With that in mind, here are 6 signs to look for in aging parents:

1. Poor Housekeeping Habits

A decreased ability to adequately take care of the house is easy to dismiss because the decline often happens slowly. A messy home may indicate that your family member is no longer able to keep up with housekeeping simply because of lowered energy. But excessive clutter or spills that haven’t been cleaned could be a sign of dementia. In any case, indicators that your family member can no longer maintain their home should be taken seriously.

2. Declining Nutrition

In order to live alone and maintain health, a person must be able to prepare for themselves adequate meals. So looking at your family member’s kitchen can tell you a lot. While appetite does tend to decline as we age, don’t ignore a lack of nutritious food in the refrigerator. Expired food or an over-reliance on frozen dinners or takeout can also be concerning.

3. Indications of Unsafe Driving

Cars are the primary mode of transportation in America. That means if your family member is struggling to drive themselves safely, they will likely need additional day-to-day support. Fresh dents or nicks — clear signs that their driving ability is deteriorating — can be easy to write off. That is why it is important to take a drive with your family member to see if they seem easily distracted, tense or unwilling to deviate from familiar routes. Any of these can indicate deeper issues.

4. Hints of Money Problems

Living unassisted means that your family member needs to manage their finances properly. While stacks of unopened mail can be written off as clutter, these piles could contain unpaid bills that are being ignored and forgotten. Your family member’s mail could include even more worrisome signs, such as letters from creditors or past due notices.

5. Dwindling Social Calendars

As we age, our social circles tend to grow smaller. However, aging adults who no longer have the support of a friend group can become isolated, depressed and anxious. Take note of your family member’s conversations about get-togethers with friends or activities through their place of worship or community center. If your family member spends most of their time alone, they could be at risk of developing mental health problems.

6. Emerging Health Issues

Increasing health issues coupled with longer recovery times are one of the clearest signs that your family member might benefit from additional living assistance. Keep an eye out for minor illnesses that linger or worsen, such as a common cold that develops into bronchitis. Falls and limited mobility are also signs that their health is at risk.

How Do You Know When It’s Time for Senior Living?

There is no single, definitive answer to that question. However, when people begin to notice changes in their family member’s daily life that might jeopardize their safety and well-being, that is when they should begin exploring senior living options. To learn how to get started take our 5 minute that provides insight on care level on available options.