6 Things To Look For As Parents Age

February 17, 2017 | Blog | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes

Realizing that your beloved parents may need additional assistance with everyday wellness tasks can be surprising, and figuring out the best living arrangements for your older parents can be challenging and emotional. Often, aging parents seek to brush off signs that an assisted living community might be the best solution for them, and it is certainly important to take their thoughts and desires into consideration. However, sometimes the signs that your parents need additional help are too overwhelming to ignore. With that in mind, here are six key signs to look for as your parents age.

1. Poor Housekeeping Habits

A decreased ability to adequately take care of the house is easy to overlook and dismiss because the decline often happens slowly over time. A messy home may indicate that your parents are no longer able to keep up with housekeeping simply due to the lowered energy that comes with age, but excessive clutter or spills that haven’t been properly cleaned could be a sign of dementia. In any case, signs that your parents can no longer maintain their home should be taken seriously.

2. Declining Nutrition

The ability to feed oneself nutritious meals is necessary to safely live alone, so taking a look at your parents’ kitchen can tell you a lot. While appetite does tend to decline as we age, don’t ignore a lack of nutritious food in the refrigerator just because your parents say they don’t need much to eat anymore. Expired food or an over-reliance on frozen dinners or takeout can also be concerning as that could indicate something more than mere forgetfulness or disinterest in elaborate meals.

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3. Indications of Unsafe Driving

Because our culture is so centered around the car as the main mode of transportation, indications that your parents are having issues driving safely may be a sign that they need additional assistance. Many signs that your aging parents’ driving ability is deteriorating can be easy to write off, such as fresh dents or nicks in their car. Take a drive with your parents and see if they seem easily distracted, tense or unwilling to deviate from familiar routes or go on the highway. Any of these can indicate deeper issues that demonstrate the need for living assistance.

4. Hints of Money Problems

Living unassisted means that your parents need to be able to manage their finances properly, and often signs that their ability to do so is declining can be right in front of your eyes. While stacks of unopened mail can be brushed off as minor clutter, such piles could contain unpaid bills that are being ignored and forgotten. Your parents’ mail could include even more worrisome signs, such as letters from creditors or past due notices.

5. Dwindling Social Calendars

As we age, our social circles tend to grow smaller; aging parents who no longer have the support of a friend group can become isolated, leading to mental and physical issues if they continue living alone. Take note of your parents’ conversations about get-togethers with friends or activities through their church or community center. Signs that your parents spend most of their time alone in their home might indicate that they are at risk of depression or other health problems.

6. Emerging Health Issues and Slower Recovery

Increasing health issues coupled with longer recovery periods are one of the clearest signs that your parents might benefit from additional living assistance. However, these changes can occur slowly enough that they can be easy to miss and brush off. Keep an eye out for minor illnesses that linger or worsen, such as a common cold that develops into bronchitis. Even averted issues such as an almost-fall or a fender bender that didn’t result in major injury can signal an emerging pattern that could put your parents’ health at risk if allowed to continue.

Assisted Living in Staten Island

Making the decision to move your parents to an assisted living facility can be difficult even when you know it’s the right choice. At The Brielle, we seek to foster a sense of community in a tranquil setting to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for your loved ones.

Please contact us today to learn more about our assisted living and memory care services in New York.