5 Signs My Aging Parent Needs More Help

As our parents age it starts to present some unique challenges that we never think we are going to deal with until we are in the middle of it.  Of course, we are going to do all we can for our parents as they did it for us but there comes a time when we have to ask…”is this the best solution for everyone”?

Here are 5 signs that it may be time to start exploring additional resources to help care for your aging parent.

  1. You are receiving more than 2 phone calls a day.  The phone calls could be due to loneliness, forgetfulness or because in order to perform a task they need help. So yes, for those of you receiving at least 5 a day…red flag!!!
  2. When you go out of town for more than 24 hours you need to schedule family, friends or hire someone to check in on them.  Or, you don’t feel comfortable going out of town at all.
  3. You have to go and physically check in with them once or twice a day. This check is to ensure they are eating, bathing, safe and/or taking medications (keep reading, more on this).  These check-ins also include Doctor’s appointments…so many appointments.
    It’s hard for you to stay on top of all the changes and then add making sure all medication is filled timely.  You have been such a great caregiver and all medication is filled and organized so nicely in their own personal medication box but…are they taking it??
    * If taking medication is a daily issue then you now need to put a check by number 3 and 4
  5. Social isolation.  As we age our world becomes smaller but if you have a parent that has always been someone who enjoys being out and about, then it might be time to start looking into community engagement opportunities.  Having a reason to get dressed and go out can help with mental health and feeling purpose which are things that become a struggle as we get older.

Now…let me be clear.  Saying yes to any or (gasp) all of these does not mean the only option is moving your parent into a senior living community.  There are so many aging options in every community that most people are unaware of.  Saying yes to the items on this list just means it’s time to start looking at resources that can help not only your parent but you as the caregiver.  Forming relationships and connections now will ease the stress while your family moves through the aging process.  News flash…we are not Benjamin Button so being open about aging earlier will result in smoother transitions in the aging process which will benefit the whole family.