Elderly care planning should start earlier. Adult children need to consider getting eventual help for their elderly parents. At some point in their lives, elderly parents may find it increasingly difficult to manage the demands of day-to-day life on their own. Adult children, faced with their aging parents’ increasing limitations, may experience a range of emotional reactions, such as denial, fear, frustration and guilt. Feelings of helplessness are also very common as offers of assistance are often met with resistance or outright refusal. Meanwhile, elderly parents may resent this sudden role-reversal and accuse their children of “trying to run their life.”
At the core of this crisis are issues of safety, independence and dignity, which is why it is so difficult to determine whether it is time for adult children to step in or whether they need to defer to their parent’s wishes, despite their own discomfort. With our many years of experience providing senior care in Montreal, we know this is indeed a hard question to contemplate. In essence, is the help needed for the elderly parent’s well-being or for the adult child’s peace of mind?
Elderly care planning
Here are some signs to look for to determine whether your elderly parents may need help:
- Disheveled appearance: For example, your once fastidiously dressed father now regularly has stains on his shirt or your mother’s perfectly groomed hair often seems unkempt.
- Body odor: Bathing or showering often becomes less frequent in elderly people struggling to manage on their own, sometimes out of fear of falling or forgetfulness.
- Bruising: This may indicate stumbling and falls due to poor balance.
- Weight loss: Poor nutrition often occurs as preparing healthy, well-balanced meals becomes increasingly arduous. Meals may often be skipped or replaced by a small snack.
- Dehydration: Low urine output or dark concentrated urine; fatigue or lethargy; weakness, dizziness or confusion; headaches; dry mouth/cracked lips; and crying without tears are all symptoms of dehydration in the elderly.
- Seeming overwhelmed: If unpaid bills are piling up and other simple tasks of daily life are causing an excessive amount of worry or stress, your elderly parent may be unable to cope.
- Forgetfulness: Missed appointments, forgetting to take medication and repeated phone calls or forgotten conversations may indicate an inability to manage on their own.
- Depression: A lack of interest in usual hobbies or withdrawal from social interactions may also be a sign that your parent is struggling on their own.
- New behaviours: If your sweet-tempered mom has started yelling at your father or demonstrating other uncharacteristically aggressive behaviors, the strain of managing on their own may be taking its toll.
- Expired food in the fridge: We can all be guilty of letting the odd yogurt container go past its “best before” date but if you open your parents fridge and find mainly rotting produce and expired meats, it is not only an indication they need some assistance but a potential health risk as well.
- Unclean home: Piles of laundry, dirty dishes and unpleasant smells of garbage or urine are clear indications that maintaining their home has become too burdensome.
- Unexplained dents or scratches on car: Your father may have had a perfect driving record his entire life but if his car now has dents or scrapes he can’t explain it may be time to have a medical evaluation as it may be time to hand over the keys.
Elderly care services
As elderly parents continue to experience a decline in physical health and mental well-being, the balance between independence and assistance will continuously need to be re-evaluated. If you have any questions or require assistance with home care in Montreal for a senior member of your family, we invite you to contact us today.