It’s not always easy to ask for help and that is likely more evident as your parents age. You’ll notice that as they get older it’s harder for them to take care of themselves and keep up with the day-to-day necessities yet they don’t necessarily want to ask for help or admit their needs. While aging isn’t anything we want to shy away from, it’s not always feasible to think your aging parents can continue to live the way they always have.
As they age, it may become physically impossible for them to carry out some of the tasks they are accustomed to and toward that end, family members may need to step in and help out. In many communities there are facilities that are equipped to provide services to seniors whether it’s a Meals on Wheels program, day programs at a skilled nursing facility or simply a day out at with a church group. As adult children, you may become tasked with making a determination on whether your aging relatives are healthy enough to continue living alone or whether they require additional assistance.
Observing them as they go about their daily routines at home is one way to see whether there is a need that needs to be. One of the first steps that can be very effective is to provide a medical alert device with a pendant or bracelet they push in the event of a medical emergency or a fall. With this system, your loved has greater peace of mind and less worry in the event something should happen.
When you’re spending time with your aging family members, here are a few things to pay attention to. If you see struggles in any of these areas, it may be time to consider a caregiver or additional assistance from family members:
- Can they still take care of themselves and their hygiene?
- Are they continuing to shower, brush their hair and teeth and get dressed for the day? If you see these personal hygiene items being neglected you will want to speak with them about it and see if they simply are having a hard time getting in and out of the shower – this can be remedied with a shower replacement.
- Are they still able to complete their routine tasks, cook meals, walk the dog, etc…?
- Is their home falling into disarray because they can’t keep up with the cleaning?
These are just a few items that may lead you to make a decision about their ability to care for themselves. Until a time comes that you realize they are unable to remain at home, using a medical alert pendant and making certain their home is age proofed will go a long way to providing a safe and secure environment.