Do My Parents Need a Caregiver

Do My Parents Need a Caregiver

October 13, 2023

The Desire to Age in Place

The Baby Boomers have always been an independent bunch. As they grow older, many of them are embracing the concept of aging in place, desiring to stay in their own homes, living independently, as long as possible. While you may applaud this spirit of self-reliant individualism, it may also have you worried. How do you know that your parents are capable of managing on their own? Will you know when it’s time to step in? Here, we offer some tips for determining if your parents may need a caregiver.

Noticing the Little Changes

Sometimes, older people downplay any issues they may be having, because they don’t want to admit that they need help. It’s up to those who care about them to be observant, and as an adult child, you’ll want to pay attention to warning signs, rather than waiting for your parents to ask for help. If you’re paying attention to your parents’ physical and mental capabilities, you’ll notice problems before they become major issues. Here are some things that point to a need for help.
  • Health issues: You might notice that your parents are not sleeping well or sleeping too much, having trouble with dexterity, or seem fatigued. There may also be a lapse in handling their own health, manifesting in missed doctors’ appointments, improper use of medications, or failing to follow a doctor’s instructions. These signs may indicate that your parents need someone to help them manage their health.
  • Inattention to appearance: If your normally dapper dad looks disheveled, or your mom seems to bathe infrequently, this could be a sign of a lack in competency. Body odor, bad breath, and untrimmed hair or nails are all warning signs, as are wearing seasonally inappropriate or soiled clothing. If you observe bruises or burns, that is a sign that mobility may be compromised, and your parent may be at risk of injury.
  • Diminished capability: Sometimes, the daily activities of life become too much for an older person to manage. Things like bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, and even moving from one place to another can be difficult. If you see your parents struggling with these things, having trouble with eating and drinking, or having problems with incontinence, it may be time to seek help.
  • Shifting moods: It’s not uncommon for older people to become depressed, feel isolated, and begin to lose motivation to do the things they used to enjoy. This could be the result of a change in mental status or a medical issue that’s making it hard to participate in certain activities. Pay attention to this, as well as to erratic behavior like losing track of time, failing to communicate with loved ones, or becoming agitated, moody, or even verbally or physically abusive. If you notice any of these changes, seek help in getting to the root of the problem.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Declining mental or physical wellness can lead older people to neglect their property or responsibilities. They may neglect housework, stop caring for the lawn, and forget to pay bills. The house may become disorganized, the yard overgrown, and the car may have unexplained dents and scratches. Talk to your parents if you notice these signs, and try to determine if they need help.
  • Decline in judgement or cognitive function: Becoming forgetful, missing appointments, forgetting important dates, misplacing things, seeming confused, or displaying poor judgement are all signs to notice. They could be an indication of cognitive decline, as could trouble with familiar tasks, loss of reasoning skills, struggling to find words or complete sentences, or getting lost when walking or driving. Don’t brush these off, but consider employing a caregiver, to help keep your parents safe.

The Right Care When it’s Time

When it comes time to find a caregiver, look for someone who understands the level of need and will fit well with your parents and your family. Having the right help at home, from someone who recognizes the significance of self-reliance, can make a big difference in helping an older person lead a more satisfying, healthier, and more independent life. At BrightStar Care of Delray Beach, Florida, we work hard to deliver the right care for older people and to be a partner their loved ones can turn to for support. Because we believe that caring is more than just a job, our team of nurses, therapists, CNAs, and caregivers offer the most professional compassionate care available. In the comforting, familiar surroundings of home, we offer a full range of care services to meet your loved one’s needs and help you when you need it most. Visit our website to contact us or apply now, or call 561-921-0550 to learn more about joining the BrightStar Care family.