Watching your parents age often causes a mix of emotions, but when they begin to show signs that caring for themselves is no longer simple, you may feel worried that an in-home fall or other accident will cause them harm. You may also worry that they are not taking their prescribed medications as needed or keeping the house clean, which can become more difficult as they age and experience limited mobility.
While it is not always easy to know when your parents might need long-term care, the National Institute on Aging reports that elderly individuals may not ask for help out of fear or because they do not recognize a decline in the ability to care for themselves. If you have any concerns that your parents need full-time care, there are several signs you can watch for that may help you make an informed decision.
1. Reduced hygiene
Your aging parents may show signs of reduced hygiene when getting in and out of a shower or tub may become difficult. This may include wearing stained clothes or a sudden increase in body odor. They may also have problems remembering to brush their teeth or clean their dentures.
2. Collecting useless items
An increase in clutter at your parents’ home may indicate that they can no longer make decisions about which items need disposing of. Hoarding behavior may begin in this instance, which can quickly lead to lead to unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.
3. Mild confusion
If your parents seem confused about the facts of recent events or become forgetful, this could mean their mental facilities are in decline. You may want to meet with their physician to ask if testing might offer you more clues about their mental state.
Your aging parents may show other symptoms of needing assistance, but they can vary depending on the type of decline. Seeking assistance can help you handle this matter with more confidence.