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Knowing When Your Parents Need Help

Knowing When Your Parents Need Help

By Susan Williams

Right now, both my husband and I are both very fortunate that our parents are still very active, physically mobile and in good mental health.

However we know that this situation could very easily change.  

In many cases, it can be obvious when one of your parents needs help (having a fall, recovering from an operation, etc) however in some cases, it can be more difficult to know when there is a problem. 

This made me wonder if there were any particular signs that we should look for that may indicate that our parents may need some help.

After doing some initial research, I discovered that aging parents may actually go to great lengths to try and cover up that something is wrong. 

The thought of having to possibly leave their home or need ongoing assistance can be very distressing time for older people. It can mean a potential loss of independence, possibly leaving a familiar environment and friends along with introducing a significant change in their overall life.  

As well, if a move is necessary, moving away from their own home and selling or giving away their things to possibly live somewhere with people they don’t know can be a very intimidating situation. As a result, aging parents may deny that there is anything wrong in the hopes to avoid this.

So how do you know when they may need help?

A Place For Mom put together 18 signs that your elderly parent may need some support

Here is the list;

  1. House and yard need care / maintenance
  2. Disheveled clothing
  3. Broken appliances
  4. Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
  5. Spoiled / expired groceries that don’t get thrown away
  6. Poor personal hygiene
  7. Cluttered, dirty and/or disorganized house
  8. Depressed or low energy temperament
  9. Unexplained bruising
  10. Trouble getting up from a seated position
  11. Missing important appointments
  12. Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
  13. Forgetfulness
  14. Poor diet or weight loss
  15. Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from collections
  16. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  17. Forgetting to take medications
  18. Unexplained dents or scratches on car

Just knowing the some of the signs to look for can help us to know when our parents may need some help and support.  We just have to remember that this can be a difficult transition for our parents however their health and safety needs to be our top priority.

As well, if we also think about how we might like to be treated if/and when we reach this point in our own lives, it might also help us in how we go about helping them.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.