When do you know that your elderly parents need help?

When will you know when your elderly parents need help? One thing is certain: your parents won’t be the ones who tell you they need help!

 Seniors have a strong desire to remain independent and in control of their own lives for as long as possible. In their place, wouldn’t you feel the same way? The last thing they want is to become a burden to their children or loved ones. Typically, the aging senior will experience a traumatic event or “wake-up call” precipitating the realization that they need assistance. For example, they may suffer a stroke or had a fall; or cognitive decline, such as the onset of dementia may result in a danger to themselves or others, like leaving the stove on.

Because you, the adult child, are unable to anticipate your parents’ need for assistance until this traumatic event takes place, the emotional distress and the work/life crisis can hit you like a runaway train, making it very painful and difficult to make educated decisions you can become comfortable with. One way to avoid this is to start monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abilities today, and research your care options should your parents begin to show signs of needing assistance.

So, what are some of the common indicators that your parents may need some form of assistance or care? Here are some of the telltale signs.

Your parents have difficulty with or are incapable of performing routine activities of daily living (ADLs) such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Toileting
  • Transferring or moving from place to place (e.g., moving from the bed to a chair)
  • Walking
  • Eating

Changes in their physical appearance may indicate they need assistance:

  • Noticeable weight loss (difficulty cooking, eating, shopping for food, etc.)
  • Sloppy appearance/poor hygiene (difficulty bathing, dressing, and grooming)
  • Black-and-blue marks on the body could indicate they have had a fall
  • Noticeable burns on the skin could indicate they’ve experienced problems cooking

Warning Signs That Your Ageing Parent Needs Help

Certain physical clues around your parents’ home may be a red flag:

  • The yard has not been maintained as it normally has (difficulty completing regular tasks)
  • The house interior has not been maintained as it normally has (difficulty completing regular tasks)
  • Automobile dents and scratches could indicate impaired driving ability
  • Carpet stains, perhaps caused by dropping and spilling things
  • Urine odor in house (signs of incontinence)
  • Pots and pans with noticeable burn marks could indicate they forgot about food on the stove and left it burning
  • Unopened mail/unpaid bills may indicate difficulty completing regular tasks
  • Unfilled prescriptions (difficulty completing regular tasks)
  • Low food supply (difficulty completing regular tasks)

You may observe some unusual behavior by your parent:

  • Lack of drive or motivation
  • Failure to return your phone calls
  • Verbally or physically abusive

You may notice some of the warning signs that your parent may have dementia or some other cognitive impairment:

  • Consistent memory lapses
  • Confusion
  • Loss of reasoning skills
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Frequently misplaces things
  • Frequently gets lost walking or driving
  • Repetitive speech
  • Unable to complete a sentence
  • Rapid mood swings or changes in behavior
  • Changes in personality
  • Wears the same clothes over and over
  • Cannot recall names of familiar people or objects
  • Loss of initiative

If you believe your parents are experiencing one or more of the above indicators, then the next step is to talk with them about their care needs in such a way that they themselves identify the problem and come up with the solutions.

It’s very important that your parents are the ones making the decision to seek help and decide which option best meets their care and assistance needs. Tough decisions such as selling their home and moving elsewhere should be their own and not yours or their doctor’s or some other interested parties. Put yourself in their shoes. The decision to move out of their home where they’ve created a very comfortable, secure environment for themselves over the years is a very traumatic change and must be handled with extreme care and sensitivity.  You might consider getting some help in for them in their own home.

If you need help working out how to support your parents, we can assist so give us a call on 1800 744 676.

Until next time

Sara and Margaret

www.signpostlms.com.au

Signpost Aged Care Services Hawthorn VIC 3122

Looking to find Signpost ACS in Hawthorn VIC?

Use the Google Map above, share it to your mobile phone and you won’t get lost when traveling to our Signpost consultants.

What areas do we offer aged care advice to in Australia?

Obviously we currently have customers from the suburbs listed at the bottom of our main page.

Those suburbs in Victoria are: Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Balwyn, North Balwyn, Mont Albert, Toorak, Melbourne, Camberwell, Ashburton, Malvern, Malvern East, St Kilda, Elwood, Brighton, Kew, Kew East.

If you read our testimonial page you will see that we have been successful assisting people from other states in Australia and also from overseas.

Please contact us on 1800 744 676 to book an appointment with one of our consultants and ask that burning question about aged care in Australia and find out how we can assist you.

Are you too busy throughout the day to call us? Perhaps you would like to make use of the videos on the Signpost Aged Care Services YouTube channel, such as this video on the difference between retirement villages and nursing homes.

Best wishes and we hope this information will be of assistance to you.

Margaret Harrison and Sara Cook

Can I change nursing homes?

An aged care residential facility is not a prison! If you or your loved on his unhappy where they are, they can always move.  And it is not that hard to move.

The first thing  to do is to check any Agreement that the resident has signed in relation to his or her accommodation at the facility.  There will usually be a clause setting out how much notice is required before a person can leave and it is usually around 7 days.

Then, you can start looking at alternatives – you can do an internet search to see what else is available in the chosen area or go to the ‘Find a Service’ tab on myagedcare.gov.au website which is the official government website listing aged care residential facilities.  Once you have narrowed down the options to facilities you think might suit, call the facility and see if they have any vacancies or a short waiting list. If they do, we recommend taking a tour of the facility.  If possible, taking the resident with you so that can see whether or not they they feel they might like it better than their current home.

Then it is a matter of negotiating the terms with the new facility – they may or may not be willing to match the terms of the current home so you might need to work out whether and how any difference can be afforded.

If you need help with moving aged care facilities, call us now on 1800 744 676.

Until next time,

Sara and Margaret.