If you haven’t seen your ageing parents for a while because of lockdown restrictions, you may be surprised or alarmed at some changes. Here are some common signs your parents, or an elderly relative, may need help at home.

Old man having his beard shaved
Kingsway Care can help you get up and washed in the morning

1. Physical difficulties

Did you notice your parents having trouble walking or getting up from a chair? Take a good look at your parents’ home. Is the staircase awkward to navigate, are there slippery tiles, does the furniture create obstacles? Do they have trouble getting in and out of the shower or bathtub?

They could have muscle, joint pain, or trouble with knees that you haven’t noticed before. These are all signs your parents may need extra help to stay independent in their own home. It may be time to discuss mobility solutions with your parents or their doctor, such as a cane or walker. A few home modifications could also make their daily life easier, such as rearranging the furniture, adding grab rails or chair risers to improve accessibility.

2. Decrease in hygiene

Has your mum or dad stopped caring about their appearance? Is their hair uncombed and are their teeth unbrushed? Are they wearing the same clothing or inappropriate clothing?

They may just need help getting to the shops or money to buy new clothes or visit the hairdresser. But lack of awareness about personal appearance can also indicate depression or Alzheimer’s. Talk to your parents to find out how you can help or if there are medical or cognitive concerns that require a visit to the Doctor’s.

3. Clutter around the house

Is their house more untidy than usual? Is there dirty laundry or unopened mail lying around? Are the kitchen and bathroom in disarray and mirrors smeared? Are there cobwebs gathering in hard-to-reach places? Is the garden overgrown?

Changes in the standards of their usual home maintenance could indicate that maintaining their home is becoming too much to handle by themselves. Talk to them and ask if hiring a cleaner or gardener would help.

4. Scratches, bruises and burns

Have you noticed unexplained bruises, bumps, scratches, or burns? These may be signs they are having trouble looking after themselves.

Talk to them and ask if any modifications can be made to the house to make it safer for them to live in. A home meal delivery service could also help if cooking is becoming difficult. Or consider regular visits from a professional CareGiver.

5. Loss in appetite

Are your parents losing weight, becoming dehydrated, not cooking, forgetting to eat, or eating unhealthy foods? They might be having trouble cooking, reading a recipe, holding utensils, or operating the cooking equipment. They may have also have lost their senses of taste and smell.

Check the refrigerator for out-of-date food next time you visit. It is important to make sure your parents are drinking liquids and not becoming dehydrated. If you can’t step in to help, consider hiring a CareGiver that can prepare healthy meals for them or organise a meal delivery service.

Helping prepare a nutritious meal
Kingsway Care shopping and meals support

If you recognise any of the signs your parents, or an elderly relative may need extra help at home, please contact our friendly team for a chat. Kingsway Care operate throughout the Sussex community and are ready to help and advise. Telephone 01273 077444 or email info@kingswaycare.com

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