Loss of independence is a major concern for many seniors. While living independently for as long as possible may seem desirable for most aging adults, there may come a time when this isn’t feasible. Here are four ways to tell if it’s unsafe for your elderly parent to live alone.
1. Visual Deficits
Visual deficits can raise the risk of falls and other household injuries, and while a change in your loved one’s eyeglass prescription may enhance visual acuity, age-related eye disorders such as glaucoma and macular degeneration can result in permanent vision loss. However, if your parent has cataracts, surgical extraction of the cataracts accompanied by the placement of intraocular lens implants may significantly boost vision.
2. Poor Hygiene
Signs of hygiene neglect include uncombed or greasy hair, long and dirty fingernails, pervasive body odor, teeth that haven’t been brushed, and soiled clothing. As soon as you notice these signs, an immediate intervention needs to be undertaken. Poor hygiene can raise the risk of gastrointestinal illness and bacterial infections of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, and it may also be a sign of depression. If you believe your parent is depressed, consider visiting a mental health professional, who will evaluate him or her for depression and anxiety.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Tucson seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Weight Loss
Weight loss may mean your loved one is forgetting to eat or is no longer able to prepare meals. If your parent lives alone and has lost weight, make an appointment with his or her physician. If the examination fails to uncover a physical cause for the weight loss, the doctor may refer your loved one to a mental health professional to evaluate your parent’s psychological health, including cognitive deficits.
If your loved one needs help with getting the nutrition he or she needs, consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. At-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. Pet Neglect
Pets can be an integral component of healthy aging. While your loved one may enjoy the company of a pet, ill health, limited mobility, or cognitive deficits may prevent him or her from caring for the animal. If your loved one’s pets are being neglected or the home is soiled with pet waste, immediately remove the pets from the home and, if possible, take them to your home or another safe, pleasant place.
If you hire an in-home caregiver to look after your parent, the pets can return to the home, provided the caregiver is willing to take care of the animals. Living in a home littered with pet waste is unpleasant for both animals and pet owners, and it can also lead to serious illness and pest infestation.
If you see any of the signs listed above, talk openly with your loved one about the possibility of hiring a home caregiver to help. When considering elderly home care, Tucson, AZ, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.