People are living longer today than ever before. According to the US Census Bureau, people age 65 and older will represent over 18 percent of the population by the year 2030, almost double that of today. While living longer is reason to celebrate, it is not without its challenges.
As a result of aging, many older adults will eventually require some level of care and assistance with daily living. People value their independence and do not want to place a burden on their family members. Recognizing it’s time for your loved one to be in senior care can be a difficult decision. The burden often falls on the family to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with daily living tasks. How do we know when it’s time to step in?
• Changes in appearance or poor hygiene
• Difficulty with basic tasks such as bathing, grooming, eating, or toileting
• Physical clues around the home: unopened mail or unpaid bills, burned pots/pans, spoiled food in the fridge, or unwashed laundry
• Signs of loneliness or social isolation
• Mental and behavioral changes such as mood swings, confusion, stopped taking medication, repetitive speech
If an older family member has exhibited any of these signs, then it may be time to consider options for providing help. Whatever the case may be, watching our parents age can be difficult, and worrying about their care is stressful. It is critical to face these realities to ensure our parents are receiving the care they need to age gracefully, with dignity, and support. Recognizing the signs that indicate our parents need in-home care is the first step.
Bureau, U. (2020). Nation’s Older Population to Nearly Double. Retrieved 16 December 2020, from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb1484.html#:~:text=%22The%20United%20States%20is%20projected,Census%20Bureau’s%20Population%20Projections%20Branch.