Older adults have been stuck at home more than normal over the past several months. That can lead to a host of problems from loneliness to noncompliance with medical orders. As you start to visit with your older parents more, watch out for signs that they may need soem help. If you notice warning signs, even if they seem minor, talk to your parents about how you can help them stay at home comfortably and safely.
1. One of Them Has Fallen
Falls are a major risk for older adults. They are the leading cause of fatal injuries and non-fatal hospitalizations for people over the age of 65. In other words, even if they are just starting to trip up every now and then, you don't want this to become a regular occurrence. In order to minimize the risk of falls, conduct a home fall risk assessment to identify hazards in their home. This may be all that is needed to ensure safety. If there is more going on, talk to home health care agencies in MD about having someone stop in and help.
2. Repairs Are Going Undone
Do you notice that little things aren't getting fixed like they used to? This can be a sign of a couple of things. Your parents may not notice minor repairs because they can't see them or they aren't using the entire house. It is also possible that they are putting things off to avoid an extra expense. If you do notice minor projects, ask if you can come back and fix them on another day.
3. There Are No Groceries in the House
The idea of your parents going hungry probably causes alarm, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, with older adults being told to stay indoors, many are too afraid to visit grocery stores. At the same time, they may be unwilling to ask for help and unable to navigate online delivery services or apps. Check in the fridge and pantry to make sure there are enough groceries. If things seem a little bare, offer to take them shopping or pick up a few things the next time you go.
4. Dust and Grime Is Accumulating
If your parents always maintained an immaculate home, finding dust building up on shelves may be alarming. Chances are it is something simple like diminished vision due to cataracts. However, a suddenly dirty house could also be a sign of depression or withdrawal from regular activities. Offer a hand while gently inquiring about the situation.
Keeping an eye out for early signs that your parents need a hand can help them stay safe, healthy and happy in their homes.