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7 Signs Mom or Dad May Need Extra Help

July 19, 2011

As the adult child of a senior parent, you probably find yourself wearing a variety of hats, depending on what condition mom and dad are in. On any given day, you may be the cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, nurse aide, handyman? even the personal assistant from time to time.

One role you may also have to play is investigator. How many times have you asked dad how he's doing, only to get a quick response of "just fine" before he leaves the room or changes the subject?

When our senior parents won't (or can't) acknowledge that they may need to consider some assistance at home or a move to a senior care community, it helps if you can identify some of the signs. Keep in mind, you're looking for more extreme changes, not necessarily slight ones (unless you've noticed a pattern).

1. Grooming and Cleanliness: Unpleasant odor from the person or their home, uncombed hair, wrinkled or unwashed clothes, extreme clutter and hoarding, excessive amount of perfume/cologne worn all the time

2. Financial Irresponsibility: Bill collectors calling, falling prey to financial scams, unopened bills, no activity in bank accounts, large amounts of money being spent on odd, unneeded items

3. Mobility Concerns: Unexplained bruises, difficulty getting up, trouble steadying oneself, several falls in a short period of time

4. Considerable Weight Loss: This one is pretty obvious, but also look for spoiled food in the refrigerator, not replenishing the food pantry or freezer, drastic changes in food preference

5. Forgetfulness: Missing appointments, forgetting or consistently switching names, neglecting to take medications, no longer socializing with friends, forgetting to use assistance devices (such as a cane or walker)

6. Mood Swings: Remember, you're looking for extremes here - paranoid, aggressive, disinterested, depressed behaviors

7. Decreased Motor Vehicle Skills: Scratches or dents, unexplained and expensive repairs from negligent behavior such as riding with the emergency brake on or continually leaving headlights or interior light on

Celebrating 130 years of service, Concordia Lutheran Ministries has a long history of helping seniors and their families. And as one of the most comprehensive providers in the country, we're able to find the right fit from a care and cost perspective.

Concordia is one of only a few CARF-CCAC accredited Aging Services Networks in the world and recipient of the inaugural Pennsylvania Department of Aging Excellence in Quality Care Award. Serving over 20,000 people in the western PA region annually, Concordia offers a lifetime continuum of care that includes adult day services, home care, hospice, medical and rehabilitation services, memory support, personal care, respite care, retirement living, skilled nursing, and medical equipment capabilities.

E-mail us here or call us today at 724.352.1571 if you have any questions about our services and how we can assist you and your loved ones.

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