It is hard to watch parents get older, especially when signs of aging that affect their personality and independence begin to become noticeable. Because it is not always possible for adult children to spend lots of time with their parents it can be easy to miss the little indicators of a beginning problem.
Recently, many families have been seeing less of each other due to COVID-19 quarantines and out of an abundance of caution; some are being kept apart for the first time ever. For these families in particular, it is important to stay vigilant and watch for signs that an aging parent may need a little more help than usual to stay safe, healthy and well.
Often adult children know their parent better than anyone else and can immediately spot things that deviate from their baseline. Relying on other people who interact with the parent to do this is risky and small things get missed. Some changes may not be troubling at all to an outsider but extremely off-character for the parent.
Although these changes are very personal to the parent, there are a few things that commonly start happening when many people get older as well. Be on the lookout for:
- Changes in personal hygiene
- Missed doses of necessary medications
- A house that is suddenly dirty or disorganized
- Bounced checks, past due notices, collection calls
- Physical issues, such as incontinence
- Car accidents and near accidents
- Lapsed licenses, registrations and other necessary documentation
- Appliances and belongings that need repairs
- Mood swings
- Confusion or anxiety around familiar tasks
Some parents may feel embarrassed to need help while others refuse to accept that they are getting older. Then there are always those who are not able to recognize when things start to change. Even when a parent insists that they are doing fine it is important to still keep a watchful eye on their everyday behaviors.
The best response to changes like these is to be there to help do the things that are getting harder. If that is not possible then it may be time to find someone else who can help. Spotting trouble early, and knowing what to do when it shows up, can keep an aging parent healthy and happy longer.
The New York estate planning law firm of Littman Krooks, LLP combines extensive legal knowledge and experience with individual attention suited to each clients’ needs. For over 30 years, Littman Krooks attorneys have brought astute, honest counsel and strong, thorough representation to every client they have served. Reach Littman Krooks at https://www.littmankrooks.com/.