The Top 10 Most Telling Signs Your Parent Needs Home Care

Getting older is hard but asking for help can be even harder.

Physical decline, forgetfulness, pain and fatigue can be factors that challenge independence for our parents living alone. Whether it be pride, denial or even the inability to recognize difficulties, seniors can be reluctant to ask for help when they find everyday tasks are becoming more difficult to manage.

This burden is often felt by family members who may suspect that more help is needed but are unsure of what signs to look for. Below are the top 10 most telling signs that your parent needs home care:

1. Spoiled food in the refrigerator – Rotten food can be an indication that your loved one doesn’t have the energy or interest to cook, lacks the mobility to get around the kitchen, or may be forgetting to eat. You may also notice they are losing weight or their clothes are becoming loose.

2. Change in personal hygiene – Your once immaculately groomed parent is now looking dishevelled, smells of urine or body odor, is wearing dirty clothing or is less interested in personal hygiene. These signs can indicate physical difficulty with toileting, showering or grooming, or difficulty remembering to start or complete these tasks.

3. Appear Confused or Overwhelmed – Displaying uncertainty or confusion in performing once-familiar tasks can be a sign of decline in memory or processing. You may also notice they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

4. Missed Medication – If you see your family member is forgetting to take pills or taking too many pills, medication management may be a concern.

5. Piling up of mail / papers – Tasks such as sorting mail and paying bills can feel overwhelming to someone who is experiencing memory problems or is feeling stressed by an increasing inability to manage everyday tasks.

6. Unexplained bruising or injuries – These can be signs of falls due to a decline in mobility and balance, or not using recommended gait aids such as a walker or cane. Difficulty rising from a chair is a clear indication that your parent is at high risk for falls.

7. Frequent calls to family or calling at odd hours – This can be a sign of loneliness and isolation or indicate that there are issues with memory and thinking.

8. Decline in housekeeping – When you see noticeable signs that the house is not being routinely cleaned – laundry piling up, dirty dishes, trash not being taken out, extreme clutter, or any change that is not in line with how your parent would normally attend to household chores – it can signal that your parent is struggling.

9. House Safety Concerns – Scorching on the bottoms of pots and pans or frequently leaving the stove on can be a sign of short-term memory loss and poses a serious threat to safety.

10. Depressed Mood or Low Energy – Recognizing a loss of independence can often be very difficult for seniors, resulting in low mood and fear of what the future holds for them. They may lose interest in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed, avoid socializing, or complain of feeling tired. They may be irritable or have mood swings.

Identifying health care needs early on can help keep your loved one safe and prevent a crisis from occurring down the road when health issues may become more problematic. Hiring a professional home care service can provide the support that is needed to allow your parent to remain safely in their home, living as independently as possible while easing strain and worry from the family.

If you suspect your parent may need help at home, contact United Nursing Services for a complimentary consultation. United Nursing Services has been providing compassionate and professional home healthcare services to clients since 1986. Locally owned, United Nursing Services is a dually licensed, Home Healthcare and Medicare-certified agency. Our experienced staff provide a wide-range of tailored services, including private nursing care, therapy, respite care and companionship. Our clients can expect expert homecare services delivered with a professional, caring and personalized touch.

Our client service representatives are available to provide customized service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays. Contact us today at our Palm Beach location at (561) 478-8788 or toll-free at 1-800-334-5140 or Naples location at (239) 596-6003 or toll-free at 1-800-596-6003 to see how we can unite our resources to work for you.

For more information on home care palliative care services, contact UNS today at 1-800-334-5140 or email [email protected].

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