While talking with your parents by phone throughout the year—even connecting visually by Zoom—everything can seem fine. But when you visited in person for the holidays, you may have been surprised to discover the things they didn’t tell you or they don’t realize are “off.”
- Mom is usually a neatnik, but the house was uncharacteristically messy or unclean.
- Dad had moldy food in the refrigerator.
- Personal hygiene was not what it used to be.
- Mail was piled up. Bills may be unpaid.
- There were dents in the car.
- Stories or questions were frequently repeated.
You may be wondering if it’s safe for your parents to live as they have been
Any of these are flags that changes are afoot. The explanation could be a simple problem with an easy resolution. Or the changes you notice could be a sign of something more significant. Perhaps dementia. Maybe depression. Hearing loss. Too much isolation.
Some issues may need medical attention. Others just simple assistance.
Don’t jump to conclusions!
The first step is to get an assessment. An expert in aging can come talk with your loved one and in the course of a visit gain a sense of your relative’s strengths as well as areas where more help could be needed. Ideally you want an assessment of
- home safety
- personal care
- psychosocial health
- medical health
- ability to manage finances
Often the reason for a change is simple, as are the solutions. And many problems—if addressed early enough—can be resolved so your loved one remains living safely in their home.
“My parent would never agree to meeting!”
You are not alone in this thought. Indeed, most older adults bristle at the idea that they need help. But that reaction is directed toward their kids. When talking with a professional, we find that once they feel comfortable, they are often eager to have their questions answered and their worries addressed.
We have a lot of experience working with older adults.
Would you like some help determining the safety of your loved one’s situation?
Give us a call at 631-880-6321 or schedule a free initial consultation.