Whether you are in the fortunate and enviable position of having both your parents still with you or else your surviving parent is living alone, when your parents start to get older it can be a constant worry whether they feel safe, secure, comfortable and most importantly of all, happy, living alone in their own home.
With luck, your parent will be entirely able to live a long and healthy life independently, but even so, it is never a bad thing to be aware of some signs that would indicate they need some extra help, advice or care.
With that in mind, continue reading to learn of five signs that your aging parent is struggling to live alone.
1. Rapid Weight Loss
Naturally, everyone’s weight goes up and down, regardless of age or lifestyle.
However, if your parent’s weight loss appears to have been a somewhat rapid decline, this may be an indication that there are underlying problems at work. Rapid weight loss in an older adult could be an indicator of any number of issues, including irritable bowel syndrome, low mood and depression, Crohn’s disease, an overactive thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, and many others.
2. Mismanagement Of Medications
If your parent is taking daily prescribed medicines, one would hope they are already using a pillbox which helps them remember to take the right pills and not miss a dose.
However, if there seem to be more pills than there should be, it is important to ascertain whether they are missing or even struggling to manage their medications.
Everyone sometimes enters a room in their home and forgets immediately why they went in there in the first place, or travels to a specific and familiar store or other place and randomly forgets the way even though it is a regular and usually recognizable location.
However, if your parent starts to forget more than just a few times where they are, or elsewhere they were going, it may be a sign that they need some medical checks just to ensure their cognitive function is normal.
4. Unopened Bills
Again, it is completely normal to see a couple of envelopes addressed to your parent that has not been opened, but if this happens every single time you go around to their home, then this may be a sign that bills may be piling up and financial obligations may not be adhered to.
If this does seem to be the case, then it may be worth, together with your parent, beginning to look into prestigious and established senior living facilities. Residents from the renowned and respected Pennsylvania senior living facilities, for example, are afforded the exact level of security and safety that they both want and need.
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5. Personal Hygiene
Another sign that it may be time to start arranging regular help for your elderly parent is if their personal hygiene has started to slip. For older adults who have started to struggle physically with such daily activities as showering, bathing, and dressing, it can also sometimes be hard to keep on top of personal hygiene so arranging for home care every couple of days could well be the answer.