Returning home for the holidays is a nostalgic time, giving you a chance to reunite with your family members in person. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen Mom or Dad, though, you may notice some concerning changes in their behavior, their well being, or even in the upkeep of their house. Since the holidays bring families together, it’s also a time when many people discover that their parents need help in order to safely stay in their homes.
Top 5 Signs Your Parent Needs Home Care to Watch for During the Holidays
When you visit Mom or Dad over the holidays, be sure to keep an eye out for these common signs that can indicate your parent needs home care.
Home Environment Changes
Changes in your parent’s home can indicate that they’re having trouble keeping up with the work. Look for:
- Dishes piling up in the sink
- An increased amount of clutter
- Piles of unopened mail
- Broken appliances
- Plants that are dead or dying in the home
- Overflowing trash cans
- Dirty floors (which can indicate your parent is having vision problems)
- A fridge that is either nearly empty, or that is full of old food
Your loved one’s finances may also indicate that they are in need of help. Look for unopened bills, or bills that have gone unpaid. Other signs to be concerned about are if your loved one can no longer balance a checkbook, or perform basic transactions like writing a check.
You may notice an unintended weight loss in a senior who is in need of help. There are many potential causes behind this, such as an unhealthy diet, the inability to regularly prepare meals, difficulty in shopping for food, and even various medical conditions.
During your visit, observe how well your parent can walk through the house. Think about the following:
- Has their gait become unsteady, slow, or unusually cautious?
- Have they had falls in the past year?
- Do they have bruises on their arms or legs?
- If there are stairs in the home, are they able to climb them?
- Are they able to venture out of the house, such as to run errands?
There are many home modifications that you can make to help prevent falls, but it’s important to be aware of how steady your parent is on their feet.
As you spend time with your parent, you may notice signs that he or she is struggling emotionally. A loss of interest in favorite activities, withdrawing socially, and even difficulty sleeping can indicate depression in seniors. If your parent has mobility restrictions, then their social outings have probably decreased, too, which can make depression worse.
Remember, too, that you may not necessarily see signs that your parent isn’t well emotionally, since these can be hidden, especially during a short visit.
Your Next Steps
If you see any of the above warning signs that your parent needs home care, we are here to help. Please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss how we can help your parent to stay in their home.
Be sure to also watch for our next blog, which will include tips on how to discuss the idea of home care with your loved one.