5 Signs Your Aging Parent is Avoiding Asking You for Help

5 Signs Your Aging Parent is Avoiding Asking You for Help

With all the stigma around getting older, it’s no wonder your parent(s) don’t want to ask for help. They likely think it’s a surefire way to lose their independence and be seen as feeble instead of capable and self-sufficient. It’s understandable, but that doesn’t make it any easier when you suspect that they are struggling yet your aging parent is avoiding asking you for help. What can you do? To start, watch out for these signs.

1. Safety Issues

  • Are doors  left unlocked, open to strangers, or have you noticed your parent wandering?
  • Have there been kitchen fires, or have they left appliances on?
  • Does your parent get disoriented in familiar places?
  • Have they fallen at home or is the risk high due to eye conditions, balance, medications, or safety concerns in the house?

2. Mental and Physical Health

  • Has your parent experienced sudden weight loss or gain, a recent health scare, or trouble recovering from illnesses such as colds?
  • Is it hard for them to get up from a chair, navigate stairs, and/or around furniture?
  • Are chronic health conditions getting worse or harder to manage?
  • Is your parent suddenly unkempt and/or do they have stained and dirty clothing?
  • Does your parent seem moody or depressed?
  • Are they beginning to avoid activities that they previously enjoyed?

3. Daily Tasks

  • Does your parent seem to have trouble managing yard work, house cleaning, laundry, shopping, and/or taking care of other chores?
  • Can they shower, dress, use the bathroom and manage medications without help?
  • Have you discovered medication errors made by your parent?
  • Are there unpaid bills, unopened mail or have they fallen victim to scams?
  • Are their pets well taken care of?

4. Driving

  • Have you noticed unexplained dents on your parent’s car?
  • Are you aware of recent accidents or close calls while your parent was driving?
  • Have you noticed them driving too fast/slow, tailgating, drifting across lanes, or confusing the gas and brake?
  • Are they easily distracted, or have they gotten lost on the way home?
  • Is your loved one keeping the car maintained, and/or have they run out of gas on more than one occasion?

5. Nutrition

  • Have you found stale, expired foods in the pantry or excessive amounts of items?
  • Does your parent on TV dinners or take-out instead of cooking freshly prepared food?

Next Steps When Your Aging Parent Avoids Asking You for Help

Answering ‘yes’ to more of these questions than not likely means that your parent DOES need some extra help whether they want to admit it or not. At this point, you may want to consider options for support at home or start learning about the many benefits of senior living. At the very least, you’ll need to start the conversation with your parent.

One way to do so is to begin talking about the future in a way that shows your parent that you’re on their side and you want to collaborate rather than make decisions for them. Create an honest, ongoing dialogue with them by asking questions about their needs, wants, and fears going forward. By listening with empathy and patience through these conversations you may find your parent is relieved to have the opportunity to share how they’re feeling!

For more information on senior living at GenCare Lifestyle, contact a community near you, or schedule a tour today!

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