It can be challenging to identify the signs that your aging loved one needs help. Many seniors do not like to admit that they need help and some may even resist assistance altogether. However, there are some signs you can look for that may indicate that your loved one could use some extra support. If you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior or any physical signs like weight loss, unkempt appearance, dirty dishes in the sink, unwashed laundry, unopened mail or unpaid bills, it’s likely an indication that your loved one requires some form of help and care.
First Signs of Cognitive Decline
As we age, it’s normal for our memory and cognitive abilities to decline somewhat. However, if you notice your parents struggling more than usual with everyday tasks, it may be time to offer some assistance.
If your loved one is not able to complete daily household chores such as cooking, doing laundry, vacuuming or washing the dishes, consider offering to help them do these tasks. You can also suggest breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. On the other hand, if household chores are impacting your parent’s ability to live independently, you and your loved one may need to consider options such as Assisted Living or in-home care.
Loss of Interest in Hobbies
If your loved ones suddenly stop participating in activities or doing the hobbies they used to love, it could signify something is wrong. They might be ill or are having difficulty with mobility. Either way, checking in with them to see how they’re doing is important.
If they’re having difficulty with mobility, you can help them find ways to stay active. For example, if they used to love hiking but can no longer walk long distances, try going on shorter trails or simply take regular walks around the neighborhood. Being outdoors can help your parents stay happy and healthy despite having mobility issues.
If your loved ones are in pain or experiencing any form of discomfort, they should identify the underlying cause of the problem. Bring them for a checkup and get a doctor’s diagnosis for their condition. You should also make sure that they take their medication as prescribed.
At the same time, ensure that they eat a nutritious diet and get enough exercise. You can motivate your loved ones by cooking and having meals with them. Go with them for walks and exercise together with them. Whatever you do, be patient and understanding – your loved ones are going through a difficult time, and they need your help.
Feeling Unloved and Unneeded
Does your loved one feel unloved or unneeded? One of the best ways to make your parents feel needed is to involve them in your daily life. Call them to check in when you’re away and in your conversations with them, ask for their opinions or advice. Spend time doing activities with them and have meals together.
Another way to make them feel loved is to perform acts of service for them. You can cook for them, help them with yard work or run errands for them. Show them affection and appreciation too. Giving your parents hugs and kisses, as well as verbal expressions of love and gratitude can go a long way in making them feel emotionally secure. Including them in your life and showing them how much you care will help feel loved and valued.
If you are working and cannot provide the care that your aging loved one needs, it may be time to talk to your parent about moving to Assisted Living. To learn more about Assisted Living in Birmingham, AL, contact us today!