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3 Key Indicators That Your Elderly Loved One Needs Help

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Recognizing trouble and knowing what to do are far from the same thing. Problematic driving, dementia, and falls are all important warning signs that your parents need support.  Your ease in handling these issues will be affected by your parent’s reaction at the potential loss of control, but Omaha live-in care providers can explain what three signs to watch out for and what to do after you witness them.

1. Unsafe Driving

Because a vehicle is a weapon of sorts, hoping this situation will go away is not an option. When you see unsafe driving, enlist your authority to help you. Find out if your loved one is taking new medications as these might be at fault. Inform your parent’s doctor and ask him or her review the medical situation and prescribe a driving evaluation. Suggest your parent have a driving assessment to determine if his or her skills need to be updated.  

2. Falling Down

Falls may indicate your parent isn’t safe when he or she is home alone.  Act quickly because the first fall doubles the chance of a second one and the National Institutes of Health says that one in five falls in adults over 75 years of age results in a head injury or permanent disability.  Here’s what you can do:

  • In your parent’s home: add grab bars, lighting, and hand-held showerheads. Remove trip hazards and high storage areas.
  • Encourage your parent to see his or her doctor for untreated medical conditions and medication problems.
  • Have the doctor evaluate your parent’s need for at-home care in Omaha.  Bargain to bring help in, if necessary.

Your parent may resent your intrusion, but it’s important to keep your loved one safe.  Not only do the throw rugs have to go, but also your parent can’t use the furniture as walking supports.  Aging in place is possible, but it requires planning and change. 

3. Dementia

When you’ve observed sustained changes in memory, reasoning, problem solving, and money handling, or if your parent gets lost in familiar places and withdraws from socialization, dementia is a likely suspect.  A variety of conditions can cause similar confusion, but only a doctor can diagnose diabetes, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, kidney disease, thyroid abnormalities, or heart problems.  Get your parent to a doctor for evaluation to rule out these possibilities.  If possible, send the doctor a letter prior to the appointment detailing what you have observed. Many people with dementia can seem able-minded for the short duration of a doctor’s visit and thus hide early warning signs.   

Solutions for these serious and difficult situations should be a cooperative effort between you and your parent.  Explain why you’re concerned and be prepared for anger and emotional upset from them. While speaking with your loved one, calmly explain why your parent will benefit from live-in or part-time home care. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Omaha where senior wellbeing is are our top priority. To learn more about our services, call an experienced Care Manager at (402) 763-9140 and schedule a free consultation for your loved one.