Seniors make up about 15.2% of the U.S. population, which is roughly 50 million people 65 years or older. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 3% of seniors are living in nursing homes or assisted living facility.
So who’s taking care of the other 48,500,000? According to the Institute on Aging, 65% of seniors living at home rely on family and friends for their care.
But what if you’re unsure if you can continue helping your parents? How do you don’t know when it’s time for professional services? We’re going to explore four things you can look for to help you find the answers.
Helping Elderly Parents Is Stressful
If you’re the only person taking care of an aging parent, you’re under an enormous amount of stress. You have to go to work, take care of your own household, run errands, chauffeur kids around and still be on top of all your parents’ needs.
You may not know how to handle aging parents. Aging adults need five things to stay at home: Personal care, continuous physical activity, daily mental stimulation, emotional support, and a sense of community.
If you’re struggling to provide any of those things, it might be time to seek an outside caretaker. Here’s what to look for so you can make the difficult decision of what to do with aging parents…
They Can’t Take Care of Themselves
If your parents are unable to keep up with bathing, brushing their teeth, changing their clothes, or simple chores around the house, this could be a sign of dementia or a health-related issue.
They’re Experiencing Memory Loss
Not opening their mail, forgetting to pay bills, leaving dirty clothes unwashed for weeks, or leaving food cooking on the stove are a few examples of memory loss in seniors.
But it can also be more noticeable like they often get lost when driving or asking the same questions over and over again. Whether it’s obvious or not so obvious, forgetting things they shouldn’t be forgetting could be a sign that something is wrong and that they need more help.
They’re Losing Weight
If it feels as if your parent is deteriorating daily before your eyes, this is a sign that something is wrong.
Are they able to cook food? Are they having trouble eating? Do they have an appetite? These are questions you should ask if you notice your parent has lost weight recently to help determine what kind of care they need.
They Aren’t Safe Alone
If your mom or dad has recently hurt themselves, like by falling or burning themselves, it may be a sign they’re no longer safe in their home alone.
Leaving the stove on, the thermostat turned up to high or down too low, and difficulty in reading medications can cause grave danger to a loved one.
Driving is also dangerous when an aging adult is having trouble remembering things or is in poor physical condition.
We Offer a Different Solution
Helping elderly parents while still taking care of your own family can be stressful but moving them into an assisted living facility may not be the best answer for you either. At MIND & MOBILITY, we can give you the support you need to keep your loved one at home and put your mind at ease.
We offer free consultations with our experienced care coordinators to help find the right solution for your situation. Request a consultation online or call us at (800) 650-5289 today.