If you see your elderly parents regularly, you might think that you will automatically know when it is time to help them receive a higher level of care. But will you really recognize those signs?
The following are some signs for which you need to be aware so you can ensure they remain safe in their golden years.
Their hygiene declines markedly
If your aging parents typically bathed or showered daily before putting on clean clothes, one sign that they may need some additional help is a lack of cleanliness. An unwashed body, dirty hair and an overall unkempt appearance are red flags that should be further investigated.
Their housekeeping is subpar
Sometimes, it is not a mental decline but a physical one that makes keeping up with their housekeeping tasks no longer possible. If it’s painful to vacuum or stand at the sink washing dishes, these chores may go undone. Offering help or paying for a cleaning service is one way to potentially keep them in homes longer.
They can no longer manage their finances
Elderly parents may resent the intrusion of their adult children poking around in their financial affairs. But if they face utility cut-offs from not paying bills on time, they can be at risk by remaining in their own home without additional support in place.
What happens when they are resistant to changes?
Most people do resist what they perceive as micromanagement by their own children (or even grandchildren). Approaching this uncomfortable topic in a collaborative way may alleviate some of the negative aspects of any proposed changes.
You could start the conversation by asking what estate plans they may already have in place. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that they do have a workable plan in place. If not, this at least opens the door to explore different options and levels of care that they may need.