At Christmas time the ageing of parents often shocks adult children.
At Christmas time the ageing of parents often shocks adult children. Since they last saw them, their elderly parents often seem to have become increasingly frail and perhaps confused or withdrawn.
Ageing parents are often incredibly adept at hiding the fact that they are struggling to manage at home where their regular routines and familiar surroundings make it easier for them to cope on their own. But when these routines are disrupted, or they are removed from their home, it becomes apparent that all may not be as well as they would like you to think.
So, what are the signs for which you should be on the lookout?
- Notice or look at their personnel grooming and general appearance. Are their clothes clean and do they look like they are attending to basic personal care and hygiene?
- What condition is their home in? Does it look neglected? Are housework tasks, such as laundry, piling up? Does the garden look as though they’ve lost interest in it? These could be clues to a decline in health and may even indicate depression or dementia.
- While occasionally forgetting appointments and losing glasses is normal, forgetting common words or getting lost or confused in familiar places may not be.
- How is their sight and hearing? If they’re still driving it’s important to make sure they’re fit to do so.
- Are they reluctant to leave the house or pursue the activities they used to do?
- Have they lost weight? This could be a sign of a health decline, depression or early signs of dementia. Check what food is in the cupboards and fridge to see if they have access to fresh food.
- Are they in good spirits and happy to chat about what they’ve been doing? If not, then this, too, may be a sign of depression.
- How are they at getting around? Are they finding it difficult to walk reasonable distances or navigate through their home?
If this sounds familiar and alarm bells are ringing, what can you do?
It’s never too late to talk to your parents and, while they may try to trivialise or brush aside the issues, this is usually due to pride and not wanting to be a burden. They may also fear that they will end up in a nursing home and are concerned that they won’t have control over the type of care and support they are given. It’s important to remember that there are other options to residential care and that they can remain independent in their own home for years to come.
Page 1 of 3. Click HERE to read more.
Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free
- Receive our daily enewsletter
- Enter competitions
- Comment on articles