Aging Parents – Signs It’s Time To Step In – And The Best Ways To Help

As children, it is expected for parents to look after us, but at some point we will have to be the ones looking after our parents. As our parents grow older, they will be needing extra care and guidance, but how will we know when it’s the right time to step in?

Aging Parents - Signs It’s Time To Step In - And The Best Ways To Help

To find out your answer, continue reading below to learn the key signs it’s time to step in as well as discovering the best ways to help.

Signs Your Aging Parents Need Help

As a parent or grandparent you may notice that your aging loved one isn’t able to do certain things anymore. They can no longer drive, cook meals, clean their home, etc.

This could be because of age-related health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc.

When this happens, it is important to remember that these are all normal changes that come with growing old. However, if you see any of the following symptoms, it may be time to consider stepping in and helping them:

Memory Loss

If your elderly parent has started forgetting where he/she put his keys or phone, then it might be time to start thinking about hiring an elder care provider.

Physical Limitations

If your elderly parent is having trouble walking, climbing stairs, getting dressed, bathing, etc., then it might be time for him/her to start seeing a doctor.

Depression

If your elderly parent seems sad or lost, then it might be a sign that something is wrong. You should talk to her/him about what is going on and make sure she/he is not suffering from depression.

Changes In Behavior

If your elderly parent starts acting differently than usual, then it might be due to changes in his/her brain chemistry. He/she may become more aggressive, agitated, depressed, forgetful, anxious, confused, etc.

Difficulty Sleeping

If your elderly parent doesn’t seem to be sleeping at night, then it may be time to get him/her checked by a doctor.

Disorientation

If your elderly parent becomes disoriented and loses track of time, then it may be a sign that he/she needs medical attention.

Poor Nutrition

If your elderly parent eats very little food, then it may be because he/she is experiencing loss of appetite.

Lack Of Interest

If your elderly parent stops doing things he/she used to enjoy, then it may be due to lack of interest.

Incontinence

If your elderly parent suffers from urinary incontinence, then it may be caused by a number of reasons including stress, anxiety, pain, etc.

Weight Gain

If your elderly parent begins gaining weight, then it may be related to poor dieting habits, medication side effects, etc.

Decreased Social Interaction

If your elderly parent rarely talks to anyone, then it may be indicative of loneliness.

Increased Anger

If your elderly parent gets angry easily, then it may be associated with a number of conditions including dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

How To Help Aging Parents

If you think that your aging parents need help, here are some ways that you can help:

Start A Conversation With Your Elderly Parent About What Is Going On

Aging Parents - Signs It’s Time To Step In - And The Best Ways To Help (1)

Ask questions like “Are you feeling ok?”, “Is there anything I can do to help?”, ”What would you like me to do?”, etc.

Keep An Eye Out For Any Of The Symptoms That Are Indicated Above

If you notice any of these signs, then it is best to bring up the topic with your elderly parents.

Make Sure They Have All Their Medications

If your elderly parent is taking medications, then make sure that they are remembering to take them when they need to. Also, try to keep an eye out for any side effects that they may be experiencing.

Try Not To Let Them Feel Alone

If your elderly parent feels alone, then this could lead to further isolation. So, try to spend as much time with them as possible. It is very common for the elderly to become lonely.

Be Open To Suggestions

If your elderly parent has ideas about how to improve their situation, then listen to them. This will give them a sense of control over their life.

Is A Nursing Home A Good Option?

Nursing homes are often seen as the last resort for families who have no other options. However, nursing home care does not always mean that someone is suffering from severe illness or injury. 

Some people choose to go into a nursing home simply because they want to live in a place where they feel safe and secure. Others choose to go into a facility because they believe that it is better than being left on their own.

When making a decision about whether or not to go into a nursing facility, it is important to consider all of the pros and cons before making a final choice. Here are some of the main benefits of going into a nursing home:

They Get More Attention Than They Would At Home

Because nursing facilities are designed to provide medical attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your elderly parents will get more personal attention than they would at home.

They Can Stay As Long Or Short As They Want

While they may have to stay somewhere for a certain amount of time, they can leave whenever they want once they enter a nursing home. A nursing home provides the freedom to decide.

You Get Peace Of Mind

When you’re worried about what might happen to your parents while you are away, you won’t have to stress about things like paying bills, getting groceries, cooking, cleaning, etc. anymore.

You will know they are safe in the hands of professionals, living in a comfortable environment tailored to them.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to our parents, it is difficult to see them become weak. We grow up looking up to our parents and with this we expect the care and nurture, however at some point in our lives those roles will be reversed.

When our parents age, we will need to eventually step in and take action to help them. By referring to the signs above, you will be able to give your aging parents the care they need.

Eddie Lamb