If you are beginning to notice changes to your parent’s behavior, physical functions, or their ability to carry out daily activities, it might be time to consider whether they require long-term care. Below are some red flags to look out for which may indicate they need help.
Changes in Daily Activities
When activities of daily living begin to be a struggle or forgotten about, this is one of the most obvious signs that your parents require additional help. You may notice that: they aren’t showering; they haven’t changed clothes since yesterday; they are starting to struggle with continence; they have difficulty moving around the home, or they aren’t eating.
This may come across in their personal hygiene, weight loss, or by looking generally unkempt. Other important physical changes to look out for are bruises, scrapes, or swelling which may indicate that your parent has suffered a fall or accident. Check personal grooming habits such as untrimmed nails, poor dental hygiene, or unkempt hair.
Changes in Behavior
Sometimes you may notice behavioral or personality changes before you notice physical ones. This is especially the case in dementia. Early-stage dementia includes changes in personality and mood, such as becoming anxious, depressed, or confused. They may start to withdraw from activities they once loved, especially social activities.
If your parents are having trouble following a recipe they once knew like the back of their hand, this could be a warning sign for dementia. If you notice any of these symptoms in your parents, be sure to get them checked by a doctor. Of course, some decline in mental ability is a normal part of aging but if you are worried and something doesn’t feel right, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
If your parents are beginning to struggle to care for their home, it may be that they require long-term care. An inability to care for the home is a warning sign that they are struggling to care for themselves. This can come across in many forms such as untouched mail and overdue payment notices, spoiled food or lack of food, unfilled prescriptions, garbage collecting around the home, stacks of dirty washing, and a generally unclean home.
Living in a dirty home is bad for mental health and not cleaning areas such as the bathroom can lead to a build-up of harmful bacteria. If your parents are refusing to have people over, this could be another warning sign that they are struggling.
Finding Long Term Care
If your parents require help, there are plenty of options out there. For those who require some assistance but want to extend their independence, assisted living may be ideal. For those with dementia, memory care facilities are a great option. Caring Advisor senior living has a wide range of options out there for parents who require long-term care.
Any of the warning signs above may mean your parents require long-term care. If you believe your parents need the care to remain safe, finding a long-term care facility that is right for them is the best next step.