Red Flags to Watch for When Visiting Your Elderly Parent

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Red Flags Caregivers Should Watch for when Visiting Elderly Parents in Massachusetts

Caring for an elderly parent gives you the chance to check in on a regular basis and watch for warning signs of potential health concerns. When you visit your loved one, keep an eye out for the following red flags that could indicate an issue with his or her physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing. 

Poor Hygiene

As people age, they may start to have difficulty caring for themselves. Some older adults develop mobility issues that make bathing challenging, while others experience cognitive decline and forget to brush their teeth on a regular basis. If you observe any issues with your parent’s personal hygiene, you can offer to help with these tasks, or consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist your loved one. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust home care service experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Mood Changes

Aging adults are at high risk for depression, especially if they spend most of their time alone. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can also cause mood changes, such as heightened irritability. Schedule an appointment with your loved one’s doctor if your loved one exhibits signs of depression, such as decreased appetite, unusual fatigue, or diminished interest in his or her favorite activities. 

Messy or Unclean Home

For some aging adults, it can be challenging to maintain an organized, clean home due to physical or mental difficulties. When you’re visiting your loved one, check to see if his or her home is messy or cluttered. Dirty dishes piled up in the sink or overflowing trash cans may indicate your parent is having difficulty performing basic household tasks. Offer to assist with simple chores, or hire a professional caregiver to help as needed.

Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Wellesley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Physical Changes

When you visit your parent, keep an eye out for any physical changes that could be signs of cognitive decline or an underlying health condition. For instance, if your loved one has sudden or unexplained weight loss or gain, it could be because he or she is forgetting to eat regularly or has an undiagnosed medical condition such as diabetes. In addition, look for other physical changes, such as increased weakness or diminished mobility, and have your loved one see his or her physician if necessary. 

Difficulty Concentrating

Cognitive decline can cause aging adults to become occasionally forgetful or have difficulty focusing on the topic of a conversation. While you’re visiting your parent, be alert for any signs of cognitive issues so you can ensure he or she gets help. Hearing loss, which is common among seniors, can also cause difficulty following conversations.

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Wellesley elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at (781) 239-0060 today.


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