How to Know If a Family Member Needs Help Maintaining a Home

Posted By on October 1, 2018

In certain scenarios, an older adult’s growing need for assistance may be suddenly apparent, and other times, a need for assistance may be gradual and harder to detect. So, what is the best way to tell if your older parent needs assistance with maintenance or overall assisted living services?

Routine Household Tasks Not Done

One of the telltale signs that a family member may need support is that they are neglecting simple chores. If you notice the lawn is overgrown, it could be a sign that they have been having issues keeping up with the landscape. If your older loved one’s kitchen has a growing pile of dishes or dirty stains, it may be a display of their need for assistance. 

Bills Are Piling Up

If you are noticing piles of mail accumulating in your family member’s home, especially unopened, it could signify that they are unable to continue manage their finances. Your parents could be becoming overwhelmed with tasks such as paying bills or checking the mail. 

To help your older loved one manage the mail, it is important to not simply begin opening up envelopes. Ask first and slowly sort through the mail together. 

Negleting Laundry

Older adults that are in need of assistance may forget to change, or may wear clothing multiple days in a row. If you are noticing issues arising around dirty clothes; either piles of undone laundry or outfit repeats, it may be a sign that your parent needs assistance.

Due to the personal matter of this issue, this particular concern is a sensitive one. If they cannot manage the laundry or are having issues with personal hygiene, you may need to consider options such as in-home care or an assisted living community.

Assistance Beyond Their House

Having an older loved one that is falling short of completing household chores signifies that they may need some assistance, but if your loved one is showing signs of any of the following, they likely need more than just help maintaining their home:

  • Extreme weight loss or gain
  • Inappropriate clothing choices
  • Difficulty driving (slow response, getting lost, parking tickets, accidents, dents)
  • Personality and behavior changes
  • Depression
  • Accidents, bruises, and cuts

When dealing with aging parents, the primary goal is to get them the help they need before you notice any severe issues. If you have seen a quick decline in their abilities, it could signify that your older loved one may need memory care services. If they are showing more straightforward signs of needing assistance with household matters then you can assist them [if you are able to], hire a third party, or look into assisted living communities.

If you are unsure about what type of care is best for your older loved one, explore your options here. If you know which kind of care is best for your loved one and are interested in looking at various senior living communities, find a HarborChase community near you.


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