Early Warning Signs That Your Aging Parents May Need Help
Realizing that your parents are getting older and may not be able to properly care for themselves is a sobering thought. Common sense tells us that seniors cannot do the things they once could when they were younger but what are the signs that they may need professional help from a geriatric care manager or in-home care provider? Read on to find out some of the early warning signs.
Often time’s adult children live several states away while their parents are living the retired life in a state like Florida or California. Even if you only get to see your parents on holidays you can make a quick assessment if you know what to look for.
- Home – does the home that once was clean and kept up now look neglected? Warning signs include major dust accumulation and extra trash lying around and in the house. This should be especially troublesome if your aging parent was once an immaculate housekeeper.
- Eating habits – take a peak in the refrigerator. Is there enough food? Is the food in the refrigerator spoiled? Also look to see if he or she has lost weight due to lack of appetite.
- Interaction – does a parent who was once capable of engaging in conversation seem confused, distracted or distant?
- Forgetful – signs of forgetfulness include stacks of unpaid bills and unopened mail. You should also check their mail to see if the mailbox is full. Also be on the lookout for missed appointment slips and messages on their phone.
- Personal hygiene – this is one of the tell-tale signs of a person who needs extra assistance. If your parent has stopped shaving, showering and is now wearing clothes you may have an issue. They may also have neglected their dental hygiene and may have injuries or wounds on their bodies that are being neglected.
- Driving – do you feel like you are putting your life on the line by getting in the same car with them? Driving can be a huge sign that they need some help.
If your parent(s) show any of these signs it may be time for them to bring in a geriatric care manager. Geriatric care managers work together with the aging parent and their loved ones to come up with a plan that enables the senior to live as independent as they can while ensuring their needs are being met in a safe environment.
Geriatric care managers sometimes referred to as life care planners, can perform an assessment and come up with a life plan designed to cover things such as:
- Medical needs
- Psychological needs
- Social needs
- Coordination of services
- Transportation needs
- Assistance with medical insurance and financial planning
- Referrals to community agencies
- Overseeing in-home health care workers
Geriatric care managers also help the family members of those who need assistance since often times they are the ones who realize their parent needs the help. The services and care they provide relieve a great deal of stress and worry from the adult children because they know their parent is being adequately cared for even if they only see their parent on occasion.