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When Mom Can't Be Left Alone

October 15, 2018

 

The day has come. You know it. Your siblings know it. But Mom just isn't admitting it. Or Dad refuses to accept it. What exactly are the signs that your aging parent simply can't stay at home without some help, such as non-medical in-home care?

 

Usually, the telltale signs are subtle at first, but as time goes on, you realize there is a problem. You call Mom at noon and wake her up. She's disoriented and asks why you're calling so early. 

 

"Mom, it's twelve o'clock," you say. "Haven't you been up yet?"

 

"Why would I be up?" She is clearly annoyed. "It's only seven o'clock."

 

"No, Mom, it's noon. You missed your morning pills. You know you're supposed to take them at eight o'clock every morning."

 

There is silence on the other end as your mother tries to acclimate to the time and what is happening. This isn't the first time she's been confused about the time and missed her meds. She's also forgotten her last doctor's appointment. When the driver came to pick her up, your normally soft-spoken mother yelled at him and sent him away, claiming the appointment was scheduled for Tuesday. The problem was, it was Tuesday.

 

When you visited your father-in-law last week, you noticed his hair was greasy and his body odor was... well, let's just say it wasn't pleasant. When you asked when he last showered, he assured you he just bathed yesterday. It was then that you noticed a huge bruise on his elbow. He dismissed it and said it was nothing. "I just tripped. It's no big deal." Maybe it's not. But it's the third time he's fallen in the past month and you're worried. Rightfully so.

 

When you start to notice personality changes, forgetfulness, poor hygiene, loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities, spoiled food or little food in the fridge, unopened mail and unpaid bills, late notices, and generalized confusion, it's time to take action. Mom or Dad needs help. But does that mean they need to be shipped off to a nursing home or assisted living facility? Not necessarily. 

 

In-home care could be the answer. Pittsburgh non-medical in-home care is readily available throughout Allegheny County. Here at Dignity Home Care Professionals, we offer anything from help with activities of daily living (ADLs) to light housekeeping and laundry to meal preparation and grocery shopping. Our certified caregivers can help organize and pay bills, assist with medications, take out the trash, take care of personal hygiene needs, and more. They not only can keep track of appointments, but they can accompany your loved one to the hairdresser, doctor, or dentist in their vehicle, your parent's vehicle, or with Access. Whatever works best for your family. Plus, they can make sure Mom or Dad is doing their daily exercises to improve their balance and strength to help prevent future falls. 

 

When the signs are there, don't ignore them! It's a matter of safety. In addition to seeking medical help to determine the cause of the problems (depression, UTI, dementia, etc.), consider the need for in-home care. It will give you the peace of mind you need and the companionship and care your loved one deserves. Call us for a free consultation and complimentary safety assessment. 412.415.3168

 

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