Your Aging Parent May Need Help
Adult family should be aware of changes in their parent’s attitudes or behavior — changes which are often undetectable over the telephone. There are clear warning signs that some type of intervention is needed.
- Mail and bills are left to pile up for long periods of time.
- The house is cluttered or unkempt. No laundry is done.
- Food in the refrigerator is uneaten or spoiled. Shopping, cooking, and cleaning become too much trouble.
- Signs of scorching on the bottoms of pots and pans may be a result of short-term memory loss.
- The parent wears the same clothing over and over again and has other personal hygiene issues.
- Missed doctor’s appointments. Sometimes this is simply a product of not having transportation and not knowing how to access ride options.
- Repeated phone calls at odd hours. When a parent telephones friends or family at odd hours, it may be a sign of memory loss, or a cry for help — a sign of depression or isolation.
- Consistently forgetting to take medication may be a sign of short-term memory loss or depression. This isn’t just a quality of life issue, but a real risk factor.
- Inappropriate behavior, clothing or speech. This may be a sign that he or she might be confused.
- Symptoms of depression are a frequent problem for many older people who feel isolated and alone.