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Determining If Your Aging Parents Need Help at Home

Does your parent need help at home? This is something that most likely they will not admit or ask for.  So how do you determine if they need help remaining at home and staying safe and healthy?

Most seniors have a strong desire to age in place and stay at home. They like their independence and are used to making their own decisions. Older adults will typically hide issues that they are having or downplay them to prevent their families from knowing that they are having trouble handling their day-to-day tasks. This type of behavior can go unnoticed for some time until an accident or sudden decline affects their independence.  



Don’t Be Caught Off-Guard

Make regular visits in-person to your parent’s home and talk to them frequently on the phone. If you and your siblings live too far away from your parents to make regular visits, see if you can enlist a friend or hire a care companion for them. It is never too early to begin conversations with them about their care wants and needs as they get older. Research long-term care options and be well informed about the type of care they could potentially need now and in the future.

You will also want to discuss their financial situation and planning for the future. Are their legal documents in order? Do they have a will or living trust? Where do they keep their legal documents and insurance papers? If they have not set up a will or living trust, you may want to consult your attorney to discuss the proper options for their situation.

Do you know what medications your parents take? What pharmacy do they use? Who are their doctors? These are all questions you need to have answers to.

Signs To Look For

When your senior starts to decline, you can look for some indicators to determine if your senior is ready for assistance. Their daily activities become more difficult; like bathing, grooming, dressing, going to the bathroom, continence, walking, transferring from chair to standing, and eating. There are several articles on the importance of daily living for seniors that would be good resources for you and your family to read. 


Does your senior have changes in their appearance and functioning ability?

  • Have they lost weight due to poor eating habits?
  • Do they have difficulty cooking, eating, or shopping for food?
  • Do they wear dirty clothes or are they dressing inappropriately?
  • Is their hair unkempt or do they have untrimmed nails and poor oral hygiene?
  • Does your senior have bruises or wounds indicating a fall?
  • Do they have burns that could indicate problems in cooking?


Does your senior have changes in their behavior and mental status?

  • Have they lost interest in activities and hobbies that they once enjoyed?
  • Do they lack motivation and drive to get things done?
  • Do they miss appointments or have trouble keeping track of time?
  • Do they get agitated easier?
  • Have their sleep habits changed?


Is your senior neglecting their household chores?

  • Has their house cleanliness changed?
  • Are they beginning to hold onto items or hoarding?
  • Do they have stacks of unopened mail?
  • Are the bills paid?
  • Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator or laying around?
  • Do they have unusually stained or wet furniture or carpet?
  • Is there a urine odor in the home?
  • Are the dishes piled up?
  • Are they taking their medications or are there unfilled prescriptions?
  • Are there signs of unsafe driving?

Is it time for Home Care?

Your senior could also be experiencing changes in judgment, cognition, and memory. If you see signs of forgetfulness, increased confusion, loss of reasoning skills, and falling for scams, then it may be time to have someone come in to assist your parents in their daily tasks.

If you believe your senior is experiencing any of the above conditions, it is time to speak with them about their care needs. It is always best to have these discussions sooner rather than later. You need to keep in mind that any or all of these conditions do not necessarily mean they have to move out of their home, it just means they need some help. Hiring home care will allow your parents to stay in their homes as long as it is safely possible.

Dwell at Home is bringing in-home senior care into the palm of your hand with a mobile application that values convenience, personalized mentorship, and trust.  You can download the app in the Apple App store today by clicking here!

Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician for any questions related to your health.  Dwell at Home makes no guarantee about any application or third-party website mentioned in any article on this website.