A Parent’s Cry for Help (Your 2×4 to the Head)

In a previous blog I encouraged you to get your head out of the sand about the care needs of your parents.  Today I want to give you a list of specific signs that could indicate a need for that extra help.

“Denial is the unrealistic hope that a problem is not really happening and will go away by itself.” says Paul Hogan, Founder and Chairman of Home Instead Senior Care.

In an article written by Marlo Solitto, she listed the following signs that may be a warning to you:

Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away

Missing important appointments

Unexplained bruising

Trouble getting up from a seated position

Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility

Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks


Unpleasant body odor

Infrequent showering and bathing

Strong smell of urine in the house

Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care

Dirty house, extreme clutter and dirty laundry piling up

Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox

Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors

Poor diet or weight loss

Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

Changes in mood or extreme mood swings

Forgetting to take medication or taking more than the prescribed dosage

Diagnosis of dementia

Unexplained dents and scratches on the car

This is an extensive list of things to consider.  One item by itself might not catch your attention, but if you notice several of the above issues, you many need to take action.  My measure in gauging when intervention is needed is from the standpoint of safety; either for the parent that is having the problems, or the one who is providing care to that parent.  Don’t let a tragedy or emergency be the thing that gets the ball rolling (your own personal 2×4 to the head)!

Seek help and support if you need it in beginning this transition.  You do not have to go it alone!  (Some places to start:  your parent’s physician, other family members, somebody who has credibility with your parents…..)  And if I can help you, please be in touch……

On the journey with you…….Kathy


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