Children of aging parents should trust their instincts. If you think a parent needs help, take action before the situation gets worse.
Your parents may need your help if…
- They are not taking medication as prescribed.
- Their driving skills have slipped.
- They are neglecting bills or not depositing checks.
- They fall prey to a financial scam or high-pressure sale.
- Their clothes are not clean.
- They are not brushing their teeth or shaving.
- They have dropped their hobbies and friends.
- They are eating poorly.
- Their house and yard are not being tended to.
- They are not taking proper care of pets.
- They have limited contact with the outside world.
- They seem confused or depressed.
- They have lost bowel or bladder control.
- They trip often or have trouble with stairs.
What to do if your parent needs help:
1. Make an appointment with a health care professional, whether it is a
nurse, physician, home care professional or geriatric social worker
2. Consider a comprehensive assessment by a geriatric care manager to
evaluate the home setting: fall and safety risk; nutritional, mental
status and depression screen; medication management and activities
daily living (ability to dress, feed, bath self) and instrumental
activities of daily living (ability to shop, cook, clean, manage
finances, and answer the phone)
Don’t ignore the signs. Ask for help.