It’s a delicate balance for family caregivers and their aging adults. You want to help, but you don’t want to overstep your bounds. So how can you tell when it’s truly time to step in a little more often?
She Might Not Ask for Help.
Some of the changes that your senior faces as she ages are gradual. Many are so gradual, in fact, that your senior is far more likely to simply modify how she does certain things over time. For instance, in the past, perhaps your senior cleaned the house all on one day. Maybe now she breaks up those tasks over the entire week.
She May Not Realize She Needs Help.
One of the big downsides of this gradual modification of lifestyle and tasks is that your senior may not realize that she’s becoming in need of help. This isn’t a deliberate denial. She really hasn’t noticed yet that help would be a good thing to have. It’s a factor of the situation and the reality that aging produces slow changes that can creep up on anyone.
You Might Also Be in Denial a Bit.
It’s also possible that you’re a teeny bit in denial. You know that your elderly family member is growing older, but she’s always handled daily life so well. It’s difficult to look at your senior and start to realize that there are some big changes that have occurred. You’re not deliberately ignoring these signs. They’re just more subtle than you were prepared to see.
What Should You Look For?
The biggest thing to remember is that there are signs you can watch for that can give you the warning you’re looking for. Problems such as new injuries or more frequent close calls with falling can be a big sign. Your senior’s mobility is another concern that can be a red flag. Isolating herself, letting the housework go, or even losing weight rapidly are other issues. Hiring elderly care providers can help you to manage the issues you know about as well as help you to spot other problems you didn’t even consider.
The best plan can often be to sit down with your aging adult and let her know what concerns you’re having. If she’s not ready for that conversation just yet, be patient. Make some observations and really listen for what your elderly family member isn’t saying out loud to you.