5 Signs An Aging Parent Needs Assistance
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

About seven of every 10 people over age 65 will need some level of long-term care during their lives, according to the federal government. Of course, your loved one probably thinks they’re among the few that can do it all on their own. It’s natural for older adults to see themselves as perfectly capable, and to reject the idea that they may need some help with daily activities like eating, cleaning, taking medication or managing money.

Truth is, most people do need support at some point – even if they are generally healthy. Since your loved one may be unwilling or unable to recognize a need for assistance, it’s important for you to be on the lookout for signs that they no longer can handle everything by themselves.

  Here are several things to watch for…


Trouble doing familiar tasks at home

the yard and exterior of the home look untidy • the inside of the home is unkempt, un-vacuumed, dusty and smelly

• there are stacks of unopened mail, unpaid bills or unread newspapers

• spoiled food in the fridge

• heaps of laundry piling up

• broken things around the house


Poor personal hygiene

• clothing looks rumpled and unwashed

• the same clothing is worn repeatedly • clothing is not color coordinated

• hair looks tousled and unwashed

• they have an odor from not showering in a while


Confusion and forgetfulness

• pill boxes are still full and medication has not been taken

• missed appointments

• mixing up times and places


Physical or emotional changes

• bumps and bruises from falling down around the house

• weight loss from a change in eating habits due to an inability to prepare meals

• dents or scratches on the car from unsafe driving

• waning interest in hobbies

• moodiness, anger and frustration with physical or mental limitations

• loneliness from social isolation


Difficulty communicating

• inability to keep up with a large group conversation and participate in it

• you find yourself finishing their sentences because they can’t think of the word


 One other big sign that an aging parent needs more assistance is actually something you see in yourself rather than your loved one: Many caregivers get stressed out.

If you’re stressed and exhausted from the amount of help you give to your loved one, that may be a sign that additional assistance is needed. Needing assistance doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one has to move. In fact, many kinds of care are designed to keep people aging in place and living in their home for as long as possible.

The McGregor PACE program is exactly that, using a community-based approach to get people the help they need to keep living in their home as independently as possible.

It’s common for an aging parent to be in denial over their need for help because they don’t want to lose their independence. But getting assistance often is the key to sustaining that independence.