8 Signs Your Aging Parents Are Unable to Care For Each Other
When your aging parents are incapable of safely caring for themselves, it can be a troubling situation. The couple who used to take care of you can no longer provide for their own well-being or each other. It’s a tough pill to swallow.
And what about your parents’ feelings? Older couples who have lived independently—and supported one another over decades—may be reluctant to admit they desperately need help.
How Home Care Can Assist Aging Spouses
Providing support for spouses who are showing signs they need home care assistance is crucial. Without this personal care, they may be prone to household accidents and mishaps such as serious falls or medication mismanagement.
The following signs can indicate when older adults are struggling to care for themselves or their spouses effectively:
- Being unsteady on their feet or falling
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are a leading cause of trauma-related hospital admissions among seniors. If either of your parents has balancing or walking issues or have experienced a fall, they may benefit from a fall prevention program. Visiting Angels’ offers a Safe and Steady Fall Prevention program that can help you identify risk factors in your parents’ home and take steps to reduce the risks of suffering a fall.
- Cuts and bruises without a cause
Have you noticed your parents with new cuts or bruises, but they can’t explain how the marks happened? This could point toward cognitive decline or a medical condition that can lead to increased frailty and injury.
- Cognitive and behavioral changes
A serious decline in memory and cognition—such as disorientation and confusion—can be a form of dementia and not normal aging. Paranoia and increased anger may be additional signs of personality and behavioral changes.
- Loneliness and isolation
Senior loneliness can have a serious impact on your parents’ physical and mental health. Learn how to recognize the signs of senior loneliness, and check in on your parents to determine if they could use extra support.
- Financial difficulty
Are your senior parents struggling to pay their bills on time and spending more than they can afford? Some older adults may find it difficult to stay on top of finances and fall behind on payments, while others may begin to have trouble balancing their checkbooks.
- Worsening hygiene and unkempt living space
A decline in hygiene and appearance, such as dirty clothing, unkempt hair, or body odor, can indicate your parents can’t care for themselves properly. Examine if your parents’ living space is increasingly dirty or falling into disrepair.
- Transportation problems
Check if your parents can get around town easily. If they’re getting lost more frequently or their driving appears unsafe, consider finding alternative transportation solutions. Missing appointments and running out of essentials, such as food or cleaning supplies, can also indicate transportation issues.
- Worsening medical conditions and trouble following medical advice
Certain health conditions may require your parents to follow special diets, refrain from certain activities, or take multiple medications each day. If you notice your parents are incapable or unwilling to follow medical professional advice, they may require greater care. Unintentional weight gain or weight loss can also be a sign your loved one needs help.
Professional Home Care Can Help Aging Spouses
If you’re concerned your senior parents cannot safely care for themselves and each other, consider a Visiting Angels in-home care specialist. Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during a free home care consultation.