Growing Old … Not Me!

None of us ever really wants to admit that we are aging. We try all kinds of things to slow down the process, or at least the signs, from lotions, hair color, wraps, and in some cases surgical procedures. We engage in activities that test our intelligence, agility, memory, and common sense. So it should come as no surprise to you that your parents and/or grandparents are unwilling to admit that they require help around the house. They will be even more reluctant to admit that they should no longer live on their own. Below is a list of behaviors that may help you recognize that your loved ones could use a helping hand, either a little or a lot.

Mobility

  • Your parent/grandparent spends a lot of time seated in one spot for long periods of time.
  • Wincing in pain when rising from a seated position or when negotiating steps
  • Obvious challenges with balance, such as leaning or holding onto things when walking
  • Avoidance of stairs (which may make certain chores difficult, such as laundry)
  • Unexplained dents in the car, or elaborate explanations of how they got there
  • Parking in spaces closer to buildings to avoid walking very far
  • Difficulty handling and/or parking a car

Physical Changes

  • Obvious weight loss (or gain) that indicates questionable nutrition
  • Unexplained bruising (could be from bumping or falling)
  • Noticeable decrease in personal care, unpleasant body odor, signs of infrequent bathing/showering
  • Unusually cluttered or dirty house, piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes
  • Spoiled food in the refrigerator

Household Management and Memory

  • Stacks of unpaid bills and/or unopened mail, piles of newspapers and magazines
  • Questionable judgment regarding finances and purchase of unnecessary items
  • Misplacing items, such as eyeglasses
  • Forgetting the names of common household items and confusion in performing ordinary tasks
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Forgetfulness, in tasks and in handling medication and missing appointments

Social Changes

  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Desire to stay at home instead of engaging in normal social outings
  • Confusion when driving to a familiar location or returning home

While some of the above signals may indicate that a helping hand is all that is required, they made be indicative of more serious problems. Try to talk openly, and at all times lovingly, with your loved one regarding his or her actual needs and a possible care plan. Make sure you have the whole story before you begin making suggestions and changes. Your respect and caring attitude will go a long way to reassure that your only motive is to ensure his or her well-being.

For more information on how to address these challenges, see the following websites and also check with professionals in your neighborhood:

  • APlaceForMom.com/resources
  • AgingCare.com
  • AARP.org/home-family

 

Copyright © 2015 Dawn P Converse, J&S Property Services, LLC