David Letterman was famous for his Top 10 lists on his late-night television show. Most of them often brought a chuckle, while some were downright awful. But what Mr. Letterman understood was the power of creating an easy-to-remember list that could be recited the next day at lunch or around the water cooler at work.
We’ve created such a Top 10 list, but it’s not intended to make you laugh. It is intended to be memorable and frequently discussed with your loved ones. While you may not want to recognize one or more of the signs on this list because to do so would be to admit that your aging parents need some help at home, it’s vitally important that you know what to look for so you can act before an accident happens.
Here is the list: 10 Signs Your Elderly Parent Needs Help at Home
- Stacks of unopened mail or unread newspapers and magazines
- Spoiled food in the refrigerator
- Empty pantry and cupboards
- Declining personal hygiene (body odor, unkempt hair, unbrushed teeth)
- Mood swings and unexplained changes in mood
- Lack of interest in hobbies, reading, and conversation
- A strong smell of urine in the house
- Piles of dirty laundry and beds without sheets or blankets
- Difficulties with standing, walking, or mobility
- Forgetfulness beyond a simple “senior moment”
If you’ve noticed one or a combination of the above signs, then it may be time to start the conversation about next steps for your aging loved one. Many options ranging from part-time home care aides to assisted-living facilities are available. There are many ways to help you protect your elderly parent when you notice the signs. This list of indicators is a place to start.