Getting older and entering retirement age often means having more time to spend on activities we enjoy and having the free time to travel and spend time with friends and family. But it also means that we need to be aware of how our bodies are changing, and that our need for care will likely increase.
As the adult child of an older adult, it can be difficult knowing when it’s time step in and help a loved one increase their level of care. However, there are things to be aware of that can help you know when it may be time to intervene.
When visiting your loved one, try to be aware of these possible indicators:
- Physical changes like sudden weight loss, bruises, or reduced personal grooming
- Increased difficulty with everyday activities like cooking, bathing, and dressing
- Risky behavior like poor medication management, keeping old/spoiled food in the refrigerator, inability to care for a pet, or hiding falls
- Emotional changes such as unusual or unexplained depression, stress, or anxiety; a lack of enthusiasm for normal activities; and less contact with friends and family
- Cognitive changes like forgetting names of familiar people; not paying bills; dents in the car; unopened mail or packages; and difficulty remembering to shop, cook, or eat
If you determine that extra help is needed, an inclusive care community can often be the best solution. With this type of care, only the level of help that is needed is provided, but as the need becomes greater over time, the level of care is also increased. This is the ideal solution for people wishing to “age in place.”
Being the healthiest we can and living happy, satisfied lives requires comfort and certainty in the health care we receive. By monitoring the health of our loved ones, we can make sure these concerns are provided for as early as possible!