When an aging loved one is no longer able to care for themselves, the burden often falls on the family. Grandchildren often take on caregiver responsibilities, and millennials now account for 1 in 4 caregivers in the US.
Grandchildren can't always count on an aging loved one to ask for help, so it is up to the family to recognize that they might require some assistance.
These 6 signs indicate that it might be time to consult with a professional for your aging loved one:
- Confusion Over Daily Tasks:
As your family member ages, you might notice they have trouble with daily tasks such as putting the garbage out, forgetting to take daily medicine, or even double dosing themselves because they forgot when they took their last dose. This should raise a red flag as it often indicates memory loss. Forgetfulness might seem harmless, but it can turn into a full-blown medical crisis. Consulting with an in-home care company that can help manage their daily tasks is one way to help keep everything in order.
Failure to Manage Finances: Let's face it- managing money is already difficult, but when an aging family member is unable to manage their financial obligations, there can be serious consequences. If you notice large piles of bills, unsorted and unopened mail, or debt collectors calling and leaving voicemails, it may be time to evaluate their cognitive status. A nurse can assess your loved one at home and provide you with a detailed care plan to consider.
Infrequent Hygiene: If you notice your aging loved one avoids showering, doing their hair, brushing their teeth, or changing their clothes, it might be due to physical hardship, memory loss or depression. This is a clear sign they require assistance with daily tasks. An in-home caregiver could be the solution.
House is Cluttered and Messy: Everyone is busy and doesn't always have the time or energy to clean their house. However, with your aging loved one, it might be a sign they are having a hard time keeping up due to physical requirements, depression, or pain. Cluttered homes can block walkways, making it very dangerous for an aging person to safely navigate their home. Dirty dishes piled in the sink for days, a refrigerator full of spoiled food, and piles of dirty laundry might be additional signs that it's time to consider professional care.
Inability to Drive Safely: Mental and physical decline can prohibit your aging loved one from doing things they normally do- including driving their car. If they are getting into fender benders, hitting things without realizing, or missing doctor appointments, this might be a sign they need extra care.
- Lacking Companionship: Have you noticed your aging loved one stays isolated from the world? If you're used to them being social, such as playing bingo or attending happy hours at their favorite community center, this might also be a sign they are in need of meaningful engagement. Many in-home care companies have social gatherings they facilitate for the community and clients. It may be time to look into attending one of them and consulting with an in-home care company about what engagement services they offer.
As loved ones age, these topics are often difficult for families to approach. Starting the conversation early is a great way to ensure your loved one remains safe, healthy, and happy at home.
As the Marketing Specialist at Care Around the Block, Jen W. spends her day curating content and ads, such as blogs, videos, and images to share on CABs social media platforms. She loves her doggo @artemistheamstaff and spending quality time with her son, Everett.