Decline or functional impairment  by your elderly parent  – Red Flags

DeclineDecline is usually symptomatic of disease or illness. Some signs of decline are subtle and others obvious. Simple observation in their home will give you an idea of what changes are happening and how best to respond.

Go to their home and see:

1. Has mail accumulated, and “Past Due” Notices have been sent?
2. Are there dirty dishes piled in the sink or around the table?
3. Is the home messy or even dirty, has their Hygiene deteriorated?
4. Are medication dosages being missed?
5. Is there spoiled food in the fridge, or hardly any food?
6. Has laundry piled up and clothes stained?
7. Are there new dents in the car?
8. Has your parent changed routine, stop seeing friends?
9. Do they seem confused or irritated?
10. Is your “GUT” telling you something is wrong?

There can be a cognitive  or physical decline – or both which are making it harder for your aging loved one to manage the tasks of daily living by themselves.

It is time to get help for them. Either hire an hourly or full time caregiver or move them into Assisted Living.  A Geriatric Care Manager can be very helpful in formulating a care plan with you.

Start slowly, speak to siblings and go with your parent to their Doctor’s appointment and share your concerns. Safety and Care are your primary responsibilities.

There is a lot of help out there by all types of professionals who work with the many different aspects of aging. The trick is getting started and they can help with this too. Sometimes just inviting an elder care professional to a family meeting can get a conversation going by at least allowing you and other family members to voice their concern and present ideas which may appeal to all concerned. Sometime timing is everything so you may need to consult the professional yourself and receive guidance on how to proceed and include your elder parent later on.