It’s official: the American population is entering into its golden years. According to the US Census Bureau, “By 2040, about one in five Americans will be age 65 or older.” This number is a significant increase from 2000, when the figure was one in eight!
As a nursing agency can tell us, with so many seniors entering into their golden years, a large percentage of children are left wondering: when is the right time to help mom and dad?
If you are uncertain when the right time is to enlist help for an aging loved one, here are a few warning signs to be vigilant for:
1. Lack of Energy
One major sign that help is needed is if your loved one has a lack of energy or depressive moods. According to the CDC, “depression affects about 1%-5% of the general elderly population.”
Depression can manifest in missed medications, lack of general upkeep, and general lethargy. Reach out to your loved one if you witness any of these symptoms!
2. Forgetting to make payments
If your loved one continually forgets to make payments, bounces checks, and falls behind on expenses, this could be a sign that they need help. The aid of a personal caregiver or home health care aide, might be what they need to stay on top of financial dealings.
3. Extreme mood swings
In addition to being a jolting experience, an extreme mood swing can be an indicator of something lurking beneath the surface. Your loved one may be undergoing a chemical imbalance due to an unseen medical condition.
Mood swings also can signify a discomfort and frustration with an aspect of their life. Thus, you should reach out to your loved one if prolonged mood swings seem to always frequent your visits.
4. Noticeable changes in appearance
A large signifier of something amiss is a noticeable change in appearance. This is especially applicable if your parents are notoriously meticulous about their upkeep.
Be vigilant if your loved one is not bathing themselves, wearing mismatched clothing, or forgetting an item of clothing altogether.
5. Unexplained bruising or injuries
If your loved one always seems to be nursing a new injury, this could be a major sign that they need help. Growing older can correlate with loss of muscle mass. This further correlates with balance problems and lower bone density. All of these factors coalesce with a higher likelihood of a slip or fall!