Aging parents are sometimes hesitant to ask for the help they need, or to let their children know they’ve reached a point where they need assistance. Oftentimes, senior-aged parents may not even realize they need help, and their adult children are the first ones to notice the signs. If your parents are already in or are approaching their senior years, it may be in your family’s best interest to be on the lookout for potential indicators that they could be getting to the point where a little extra help may be necessary. Here are three signs to check for outside their home.
1. Check for Tire Tracks Near the Driveway
When you first arrive at your parents’ home, park in the street and walk up the driveway, paying close attention to any tire tracks along the side of the driveway. If you see tracks, it could be a possible sign that your parents are having some difficulty driving. A number of tire tracks in the grass near the road, for instance, could indicate they’re having trouble navigating the turn into or out of their driveway – and if they’re having trouble making this simple turn, they’ll likely have trouble with other turns or driving in general as well.
2. Grab the Mail for Them
After checking for tire marks and before going in their front door, make a stop at the mailbox. Not only is picking up the mail for them a kind gesture, it’ll also provide you with an opportunity to leaf through their mail. Don’t open anything, just glance over the mail they’re receiving.
If you notice overdue bills, your parents could be experiencing financial hardships. If their late bills aren’t due to financial hardships, early signs of memory loss could be another possible explanation. Paying bills on time requires keeping track of accounts, due dates, payments, etc., and if your parents are having a tough time keeping all this information straight, they may fall even farther behind on their bills.
Once you get inside their home, ask them if there’s anything you can do to help, whether it’s simply reminding them of upcoming bills, making notes to leave around their home or stepping in to manage their accounts altogether.
3. Look at the Landscaping
When you get to the top of the driveway, take a look at the landscaping surrounding their home. Be on the lookout for declines in maintenance. If they used to keep the landscaping pristine yet it’s becoming progressively more unkempt, your parents may be having a difficult time keeping up with this demand. If they’ve been doing the landscaping work themselves, it may be time to hire a professional landscaping company. If they’re already paying someone to look after their yard and landscaping, they may need assistance finding a better company.
While these signs may be obvious, it’s not always something we consciously analyze. You can probably think of some things on your own that may be indicative of a loss of mobility or memory. If you noticed signs of them needing assistance, talk to them about hiring a compassionate caregiver from a local Long Beach area in-home care agency such as SYNERGY HomeCare.
To learn more about how SYNERGY HomeCare’s caregivers can give your aging parents the help they need with any of the aforementioned responsibilities or virtually anything else, contact our Long Beach office and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation in-home needs assessment today.