4 Signs Living Alone Is Unsafe for an Aging Loved One

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Loss of independence is a major concern for many seniors. While living independently for as long as they can may seem desirable for most aging adults, there may come a time when this isn’t feasible. Here are four ways to tell if it’s unsafe for your elderly parent to live alone.\

1. Visual Deficits

Visual deficits can raise the risk for falls and other household injuries, and while a change in your loved one’s glasses prescription may enhance visual acuity, age-related eye disorders such as glaucoma or macular degeneration may result in permanent vision loss. However, if your parent has cataracts, surgical extraction of the cataracts accompanied by the placement of intraocular lens implants may significantly boost vision.

2. Poor Hygiene

Signs of hygiene neglect include uncombed or greasy hair, long and dirty fingernails, pervasive body odor, teeth that haven’t been brushed, and wearing soiled clothing. As soon as you notice these signs, an immediate intervention needs to be undertaken. Poor hygiene can raise the risk for gastrointestinal illness and bacterial infections of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, and it may also be a sign of depression. If you believe your parent is depressed, consider visiting a mental health professional, who will evaluate him or her for depression and anxiety.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. McKinney, TX, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

3. Weight Loss

Weight loss may mean your loved one is forgetting to eat or is no longer able to prepare meals. If your parent lives alone and has lost weight, make an appointment with his or her physician. If the examination fails to uncover a physical cause for weight loss, the doctor may refer your loved one to a mental health professional to evaluate psychological health, including cognitive deficits. 

If you aren’t always able to be with your loved one to make sure maintaining good health, consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. In McKinney, in-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

4. Pet Negligence

Pets can be an integral component of healthy aging. While your loved one may enjoy the company of a pet, ill health, limited mobility, or cognitive deficits may prevent him or her from caring for the animal. If your loved one’s pets are being neglected or if the home is soiled with pet waste, immediately remove the pets from the home and, if possible, take them to your home or another safe, pleasant place. If you hire an in-home caregiver to look after your parent, the pets can return to the home, providing the caregiver is willing to take care of the animals. Living in a home littered with pet waste is unpleasant for both animals and pet owners, and it can also lead to serious illness and pest infestation.

If you see any of the signs listed above, talk openly with your loved one about the possibility of hiring a home caregiver to help. When considering home care services, McKinney, TX, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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