Disclaimer: This article must be considered only a reference on how to assess if your elderly parent needs someone to take care of them at home. Any legal contents of this section are not forms of sound legal advice. Consulting a lawyer is the best thing to do when involved in a case involving elderly treatment or negligence.
As a parent, you need to prepare for when your children get older. You should also get ready for your aging process. There will come a time when they will move out of your house and start their own lives. It may be a complicated process, but it is inevitable.
Being left alone in the house is difficult. It can be lonesome when you have no one beside you. As something you should prepare for yourself, it is also essential to watch out for signs that indicate that your elderly parent is not fit to live in a house alone anymore.
Signs to Watch Out For
If you are worried about your elderly parent, it is important to watch out for these signs and symptoms:
- Short-term memory loss. Does your parent manifest signs when he or she forgets things easily? In a matter of minutes, does he or she not remember what they said or did? Short-term memory loss is quite common for the elderly. 40% of older people who are above 65 years experience memory problems. If not addressed adequately, it may lead to more severe conditions such as:
- Amnesia – This state happens when a person has no recollection or cannot recall any information from their memories. This may be due to traumatic events, old age or an injury to the brain.
- Dementia – This is a more severe form of memory problem. It affects the daily function of the elderly person. Some types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease as well as vascular dementia.
- Loneliness. Most seniors experience some form of isolation when they are at home. The lack of interaction with the outside world may often cause the elderly to think that he or she is unwanted. This empty feeling may lead to a more severe condition. Loneliness may lead to:
- Depression – Loneliness and depression go together. Some people, not just the elderly, experience some form of depression because they feel like they are alone. According to a University of Chicago five-year study, loneliness precedes depression.
- Hoarding – Filling a person’s life with material things to replace the loneliness they feel characterizes this obsessive-compulsive disorder. If not addressed, it could take over a person’s home and life.
- Social Anxiety – Social anxiety is the condition where a person is scared of interacting with people. This is characterized by not being able to leave the house, fear of speaking with other people and scared feelings regarding communicating with the people around you.
- Muscle or joint pain. Arthritis and osteoporosis are some of the reasons why the elderly may feel muscle or joint pain. If your elderly parent is in constant pain, he or she may have limited or restricted movements. This will prevent them from fully functioning in the house.
- Increase in heart rate. If your elderly is experiencing an increase in their heart rate, it might be best to consult with your doctor. An increase in heart rate may lead to high blood pressure or even a stroke.
- Difficulty in breathing. Shortness of breath is also one of the most common symptoms in the elderly. However, it may also be due to COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a condition when emphysema and chronic bronchitis exist at the same time. This medical condition is prevalent among patients who are more than 65 years old.
When you notice your elderly parents begin to manifest these symptoms, you should seek the help of a doctor or a psychiatrist. Early diagnosis is essential to avoid dealing with more significant and worse consequences.
What Can You Do?
Symptoms that indicate that your elderly parent is not equipped to live alone anymore can also aid you in coming up with some solutions on how to keep your parent’s life more comfortable.
You can hire someone else to take care of your parent. However, you must consider these tips:
- Speak with your parent. Before doing anything rash, speak with your parent first. Older people tend to reject changes, especially when it comes to their homes. Explain to your parent the reasons and benefits of hiring someone to take care of him or her.
- Hire from reputable healthcare providers. Avoid getting a caregiver without doing background checks. As much as possible, ask a healthcare provider and get their recommendations.
- Know the legal aspects of hiring a caregiver, or other legal concerns. Your parent has the right to have the best care possible. Your caregiver should be able to provide it. Once there is evidence of neglect and abuse, you should be ready to file a claim against the caregiver. It may also help to hire a lawyer like the ones here if you’re looking for assistance in terms of managing the estate of your elderly parent, if an estate exists.
It is best to ask someone to care for your parents rather than to allow him or her to unsafely live alone. Their physical and mental condition may not be as healthy as before; therefore hiring a caregiver is one of your best options.
Kiren Manning – Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.