Caring for a Senior Parent: Warning Signs That They Should Not Be Living Alone

Caring for a Senior Parent: Warning Signs That They Should Not Be Living Alone

As our parents age, we get to a point where we have to decide whether they are safe living at home alone. The decisions for how to proceed after this realisation are difficult, especially when you consider that some seniors want to age in place. Home provides comfort and familiarity, and this helps explain some of their reluctance. However, there could be evidence that they are not safe living at home alone. Here are the warning signs to look for.

They Always Seem Exhausted

Everyone gets exhausted, but persistent exhaustion should be taken very seriously, especially in seniors. There is a long list of medical conditions, some more obvious than others, that could be causing this persistent exhaustion. Mental health issues like depression, stress, grief and anxiety can also impact sleep negatively and lead to the exhaustion you see.

Your Loved One Has Suddenly Lost a Lot of Weight

It is common for seniors to lose and gain weight depending on numerous factors, but a sudden, significant loss in weight is something to be concerned about. While it could indicate deeper problems, the most common reason for such weight loss is not eating well enough. They could be eating too little or having the wrong diet for their needs. They could also be forgetting to eat, which could indicate the beginning of a cognitive illness.

Weight loss accompanied by cognitive decline necessitates that your loved one has someone to assist them with daily tasks. The best solution is a care home where nurses can ensure they receive the love and care they require. Look for facilities that also provide dementia and Alzheimer’s care. You can find out more about such a service at where you can also get in touch with a professional to advise you on the next steps.

They Get Lost in Familiar Locations and Buildings

A senior loved one getting confused and lost in new places is not unusual, but it is concerning if they get lost at locations and places they have been to hundreds of times. Getting lost like this is also associated with a loved one not remembering where they are, which puts them in a lot of danger. The above can signify Alzheimer’s or dementia, so it is a good idea to get them tested to see what you should do next.

They Keep Wandering

A senior loved one can wander inside the home or even go outside where they can put themselves in a lot of danger. Going for a walk once in a while is not a problem, and is encouraged, but wandering is a cause for concern and a warning sign that they are not safe living alone.

They Have Become Isolated

Loved ones who used to be social suddenly becoming isolated and withdrawn is a warning sign that they could be suffering from a physical or mental illness. Such isolation is both a warning sign and a cry for help.

It is difficult to think about our ageing parents no longer being safe alone. However, it happens, and knowing what to do in such cases can help you get them the help they need as soon as they do.

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