Signs Your Ageing Parents Need Help

If your elderly parents are struggling at home but aren’t telling you, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You may be wondering what clues to look out for and what solutions are available if you discover that your parents aren’t coping as well as they used to.

Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

How to Help Your Loved One Live Independently

What Are Your Property Options?

Many seniors prefer to keep their personal challenges a secret, and may also be defensive about being helped. This delicate situation therefore requires you, as their relative, to stay vigilant and patient, and be fully aware of the options available when the time comes to propose and implement them.

Clues that your aging parent might need assistance at home will vary depending on the person and how severely their abilities have declined. Some of the more common signs include:

  • A decline in personal hygiene and grooming standards e.g not showering, not brushing teeth/hair, or going unshaven.
  • Not washing clothes and instead choosing to wear the same clothing for long periods of time.
  • Neglecting to open mail, or leaving it on the doormat.
  • Difficulty moving around the house or ascending the stairs.
  • Unexplained bruises, burns, or cuts that hint that your loved one is having accidents and not informing anyone.
  • Stains and marks on the carpet suggest that your loved one is dropping and spilling things, and is unable to clear it up.
  • Preferring to sleep in a chair or sofa instead of getting in bed.
  • Changes in their social routine e.g. maybe they’re aren’t keeping appointments with friends or social clubs.
  • Inability to maintain their home or garden.
  • Changing eating habits, such as preferring to eat less food, or food that requires little preparation – a physical indicator of this is weight loss.
  • Increased difficulty or aversion to using the toilet, sometimes leading to accidents.
  • Dents or scratches on their car, implying that their driving ability is waning.

Should you spot any of the signs outlined above, don’t lose hope. It’s important for their safety and wellbeing to ensure that your parents are given the assistance and support they require, and there are several options available to help your parents preserve their independence for years to come.

  • Make Adjustments to Their Home: Often just a few simple adjustments to your parents’ property can be enough to make their lives easier and help them to remain in their beloved home for a little bit longer. For example, stairs are one of the first elements of a house that become problematic for a senior. What can seem like a painful and sometimes dangerous task for them can be easily remedied with the installation of a stairlift. Similarly, if they find it difficult to get out of bed or the bath, the addition of grab rails can be a godsend.
  • Consider a Caregiver: Maybe you’re finding it too difficult to give your parents the time and attention they require? If so, it could be worth employing caregivers to come in a few times a week to complete essential tasks for your parents, such as shopping, cooking or cleaning.
  • Address Their Social Needs: Loneliness is a big problem amongst the older generation, but one that can be addressed. Why not encourage your loved ones to attend a local social club, such as book, art or craft groups? However, if they’re too frail to leave the house, training them up in technology will help them keep in touch with family and friends more easily via social platforms such as Facebook and Skype.
  • Personal Alarms: If you feel nervous at leaving your parents alone at the end of a visit, put forward the suggestion of a personal alarm. These are often worn around the neck. Pushing them will alert an operator who will know exactly where your parents are and who to contact in the case of an emergency.

If your parents need that extra bit of help, but are still not ready for a care home, then sheltered housing or assisted living acts as a great compromise.

Different levels of assistance are offered by different retirement communities, but all will have a self-contained apartment or home for each resident. Often there will be an onsite or offsite warden appointed to take care of residents and listen to their concerns, and in more hands-on communities, additional care services and meals may be provided. Alarm systems are often installed in each apartment or house, which can grant peace of mind to you and your parents should they require emergency assistance. Another great aspect of these communities is that they often have communal areas, such as lounges and games areas, to encourage your parents to be more sociable.

Resource Links

Key signs your parent needs a caregiver –

Choosing a stairlift-

Sheltered housing options –

Here at The Stairlift Company, we’re dedicated to helping your loved ones maintain their independence for as long as possible. As the UK’s leading providers of quality stairlifts, you can trust our experts to supply and install the best equipment to suit your loved one and their individual needs. Not only that, we also offer 24/7 backup and support for our stairlifts. Get in touch today to arrange a free home survey and quotation.