Getting older could be hard for some, however, it is especially challenging when the individual that is becoming older is a parent. As time elapses, lifelong relationships could be overturned and the parent, who has assumingly been caring for the child for a lifetime, suddenly becomes the one who needs help and requires all the care and attention.
However, attempting to cross that bridge is a very tricky path and uncovers all sorts of emotions and feelings from both the adult child and the parent. Elderly individuals might want to remain in their own homes and keep their independence, this is very understandable. A child that is now an adult might not want to cause an argument and fight with their parent on this issue. However, there might come a time when living arrangements for the elderly needs to be altered due to welfare and safety. Look out for the following signs that could reveal that your relative or parent may not be able to live on their own any longer.
Sudden Loss In Weight
In the event that individuals realize that their parent is appearing a bit thinner than normal, it might be a sign that they are not eating properly, which could be a symptom of cognitive illness.
Director of Duke University’s Family Support Program, Lisa Gwyther, details that individuals that suffer from memory impairment, like Alzheimer’s disease, quite often forget that they should eat at specific times or forget the way to properly manage and prepare their own food, resulting in them losing weight. In the event that this might be the case, individuals may want to discuss the probability of having home help to ensure that the aged family member is receiving an adequate amount of nutrition on a daily basis.
There is also the possibility of relocated the older person into your home or arranging for assisted living facilities.
There Is A Bundle Of Unopened Mail
Heaps and bundles of unopened mail could also be an obvious indication of the older person developing cognitive impairment. As explained by Gwyther, keep a very close eye out for envelopes that have not been opened from charities that they would not typically make contributions to or creditors. This could be a serious red flag that they have lost or are losing control of their cognitive skills when relates to smart spending, which could then force them into debt very quickly if it goes unchecked.
Disregard To Personal Hygiene
For individuals that suffer from dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease, recalling all of the cognitive steps concerned with taking a bath or a shower on a daily basis could quite challenging. It might be hard for several of them to understand the reason that they need to take a bath and also how this process should be undertaken as well, this results in the elderly person ending up with a hygiene regimen that is very unhealthy.
They Become Lost When Visiting Familiar Places
Familiar destinations such as supermarkets or grocery stores, places of worship, or the bank should be all too familiar and simple to recall for the elderly parent. In the event that you discover that they are no longer able to find their way to locations like these, it is a massive warning sign that something is going or has gone wrong. Gwyther states that if an individual can no longer trust that their loved one has the capability of navigating through their own town, it may be time for them to start the discussion about moving or arranging for live-in assistance.
You Recognize Changes In Their Homes
As explained by the director of the Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, Peter Lichtenberg, a house that is cluttered is not always a negative indication, especially if the parent was always considered a messy person. However, if suddenly they start to become messy after being extremely clean and orderly, it could be a sign of a more serious issue, as it relates to their cognitive abilities.
In addition, look out for items appearing in weird locations throughout the home, such as clothes in the refrigerator rather than in the washing machine. As documented by Dr. Lichtenberg, changes such as these are very often considered the clearest indications of dementia, and it could be a sign that they are no longer in a position to live alone safely.
They Are Extremely Exhausted
Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and many other chronic diseases could interrupt the circadian rhythms, prohibiting your elderly parent from having a good night’s sleep and making them drowsy during the day.
According to experts, an adequate amount of sleep is vitally important for both physical functionality and cognitive functionality, and not getting the adequate amount could result in an individual’s condition becoming worse. On the other hand, it could be the result of a health condition that is making the elderly person not sleep properly.
It appears as if the lack of sleep is placing additional strain on the person’s well-being, then it might be time to think seriously about arranging help for them, even in terms of supervision. It might also be beneficial for your parent to make an appointment with a geriatric psychiatrist as they might be able to assist them with their sleep issues.
They Are Defensive
Although this might appear to be a bit extreme, there are numerous instances when aged parents suffering from cognitive decline resolve to buying a firearm in order to protect their home, even if they have never owned a firearm in their lives.
With diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, individuals could become suspicious and combative toward others around them, including close family members, as it is becoming more and more difficult for them to distinguish between the ones trying to help and those that might want to cause harm. A gun in a home of an individual that is suffering from cognitive issues is very dangerous, therefore it should be flagged as a sign that they are no longer suited to live alone.