Your mother has always been a proud and independent woman, but lately, something’s changed. The last few times you stopped by mom’s home her appearance was disheveled, the house was a mess, and there were stacks of unopened mail lying on the dining room table. As a concerned loved one, knowing if an aging parent needs help around the home isn’t always easy. Here are 4 warning signs that it might be time to have “the talk” about professional home care services with your elderly mother.
Reasons Why Seniors Reject Home Care
If your aging mother is like most, she’s spent their entire adult life managing a household and various jobs. Most older adults don’t want to be lectured by others about how to manage their affairs – especially their grown children.
Many aging-in-place seniors reject the idea of accepting home care for reasons like:
- Privacy concerns
- Pride and dignity
Confusion and memory loss caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s can further cloud a senior’s judgment. Once your loved one starts undergoing cognitive changes it can then become even more challenging to convince them to accept outside assistance.
Functional Limitation Warning Signs
If you suspect that your aging mother is struggling to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), look for these four signs:
Fall-related injuries and fractures send scores of older adults to hospital emergency departments every year. Vision changes, poorly lit hallways, and slippery bathroom surfaces are all fall hazards for aging-in-place seniors.
If your mother has fallen several times recently, here’s how to help:
- Create clutter-free pathways throughout the home.
- Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom, and on both sides of stairs.
- Take her to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.
- Work with an occupational therapist to create a safer home environment.
Losing or gaining a lot of weight, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs that your loved one needs assistance. Cognitive warning signs like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could indicate the onset of dementia.
If poor mobility is affecting your mother’s quality of life, volunteer to assist her around the house by preparing meals, doing laundry, walking the dog, etc. If you suspect that she has cognitive impairment, schedule mom a doctor’s appointment so they can evaluate her further.
Chronic pain, diminished flexibility, and poor eyesight can all interfere with a senior’s ability to drive. If your mother has gotten several tickets or been involved in multiple accidents, it’s probably time to have “the talk” about driving safety. Suspicious dents and scrapes on her vehicle could also be a sign that it’s time to turn over the car keys for good. Before respectfully discussing the topic with your mother find her reliable transportation alternatives.
Not socializing enough
Depression, anxiety, and dementia keep many seniors from socializing as they should. On the other hand, older adults who stay socially engaged and active tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who feel lonely and isolated.
Introduce your mother to activities she might enjoy at the local senior center. Teach her how to use the latest technologies, like video chat services, online communities, and social media to stay in touch with old friends – or make new ones. Better yet, let mom know how much she means to you by calling her on the phone.
Stacks of past-due bills may be an indication that your mother is having trouble managing her household finances. Offer to become a custodian on mom’s bank and credit card accounts, which will also help protect her from financial scammers. If she hasn’t already done so, encourage your mother to prepare a will and to choose someone as her durable power-of-attorney (POA).
An Extended Family in Your Senior’s Home
Caring for an aging parent isn’t always easy when you’re busy or live far away. At New Wave Home Care, we’ve been providing in-home senior care for families in Pasadena, California for 12+ years now. As a licensed home care provider, we support clients and their families with personalized in-home solutions like personal care, transitional care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and hospice support.
When you choose New Wave Home Care in Pasadena, you can rest assured that your loved one is getting the specialized care they need from a trusted, friendly caregiver. To learn more now or schedule a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in the greater Los Angeles area, please visit us at www.newwavehomecare.com.