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The Montclair

Ten Indicators That Your Aging Parent Needs Help

Recognizing signs of decline in aging parents is an important aspect of providing care as they grow older. The aging process often brings about changes that can impact a senior’s overall lifestyle and health. Factors such as recent medical diagnoses, surgeries, injuries, managing chronic health conditions, or general difficulties with daily activities may necessitate assistance.

Here are 10 common warning signs indicating that your aging parent may need help:

  1. Poor Hygiene: Observing a decline in personal grooming habits, such as infrequent showering or teeth brushing, and neglected laundry.
  2. Messy or Disorganized House: Noticing a lack of order in their living space, with piled-up dishes, scattered clothes, a dirty bathroom, or an unkempt yard.
  3. Poorly Maintained House: Identifying safety hazards like smoke detectors without batteries, expired fire extinguishers, broken appliances, or tangled wires.
  4. Mismanaged Finances: Discovering late payment notices, unpaid bills, or bounced checks due to forgetfulness.
  5. Poorly Maintained Car: Observing new dents or scratches on their car, forgetfulness about regular maintenance, or addressing issues.
  6. Unhealthy Eating Habits: Noticing a lack of fresh groceries, consumption of expired food, reduced cooking, or significant changes in appetite leading to unhealthy weight loss or gain.
  7. Mood Changes or Swings: Observing altered behavior, signs of depression, loneliness, or a disinterest in once-enjoyed hobbies and activities.
  8. Forgetfulness or Confusion: Recognizing lapses in memory such as missed medications, unfilled prescriptions, or confusion in routine tasks like grocery shopping or using a phone.
  9. Trouble Getting Up: Witnessing struggles when sitting or standing, indicating physical challenges.
  10. Unexplained Bruises or Injuries: Noticing bruises, scratches, cuts, or signs of limping resulting from accidents or falls.

If you observe these signs in your aging parent, it’s helpful to document your concerns and discuss them with siblings or other relatives. Approaching this conversation thoughtfully is crucial, considering that acceptance of aging signs can be challenging due to feelings of loss or incompetence. Seek conversational tips on discussing this matter and ensure their involvement in any discussions about future care options.