There comes a time in the adult lives of children and their parents when you realize you might have to step in and have a more active role in your parent’s lives, not as a child but as a caregiver.
Going from a parent becoming the dependent one and the child becoming the hierarchy in the relationship can be tough on both ends. The hardest part of that transition may be the first time you have to step in and “stage an intervention” because there is an area of life that your parent needs to let go of and you know they won’t want to. So what are the signs that it’s time to step in and suggest or directly take action to make that change in your parents’ lives?
When it comes to driving, your dad or mom’s doctor will be able to help determine if your parent is physically able to drive anymore. When the senior citizen’s eyesight dims to where he or she cannot distinguish details in the distance or when depth perception is poor he might not be able to judge where the intersection is, or if he stopped at the stoplight or in the middle of the intersection, the time is right for Grandpa to give up the keys and let someone else do the driving.
The time to start the process of moving mom or dad out of their own home and into an assisted living facility may be more tricky to determine. As with driving, the senior citizen will mount every effort to appear to be competent to continue to live independently. That ability to live on our own, go where we want to, when we want to, and take care of our own needs is fundamental to who we are and our self-esteem, that the transition from living on their own to having everything done for them is emotionally difficult to be sure.
You, as family members and as the caregiver for your parent need to watch for the signs that your parent’s ability to take care of the house and of themselves living independently has come. Some of the symptoms of the need for change are…
- How is your mom or dad’s health holding up? Are they eating well? Check the pantry and the refrigerator. Is it full of good things to eat, fresh foods and lots of supplies for cooking or is it sparse showing that going to the grocery store is a trial for your parent? Are your parents taking care of themselves?
- When you come over, do they look like they are sleeping ok? Are they groomed and clean and are their clothes clean and ready to use or is everything wrinkled because it’s too hard to do the laundry and press shirts and blouses?
- How does the house look? Is it in good repair? Is it picked up and the kitchen clean with everything put away? If mom was always meticulous about her kitchen and now it’s always a mess, she is having trouble keeping up with the housework.
- Does mom or dad stay home all the time? If they were normally outgoing and always up for a car trip, an outing to church or even just the grocery store or even an adventure, becoming a homebody signals that they don’t want to go through the trouble of getting fixed up to go out.
- If your elderly parent falls or goes to the floor and they cannot get up. If your mom or dad has to pass the night on the living room floor because they could not get up and had to sleep there until someone showed up to help them, that’s an emergency situation that calls for immediate action.
Talk to your elderly parent about the risks of living alone, particularly in a scary situation like being unable to get up. By the time such a frightening incident happens, your parent may suspect it’s time to go somewhere they can live with greater security and safety.
The Bigelow Family has provided home care assistance for seniors and the disabled in the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties since 2010. When you become a part of Bigelow Family Home Care, you are treated like a family member with access to on-call assistance 24/7.
Our providers are extensively cleared through the Department of Justice, the State of California, and drug tested.
If you have any questions about caregiving services, give us a call today at (800) 804-8845 to schedule a private, pressure-free consultation at no charge to you.