There may come a time when you need to be aware of the signs your aging parent shouldn’t live alone. Ignoring these signals can only lead to more difficulty for your parent or may place them in dangerous situations, even if they were to stay inside their home. You must be keenly aware of their current health situation to help them make the best decisions possible and keep them as safe as they can be. When wondering, “can my elderly parent live alone,” make sure to examine the following conditions of their current living situation.
Deterioration of the Home
While you cannot know every infirmity or illness by simply looking at your parents, you can tell a lot about the state of their house. Clear signs your parents should not live alone include:
- A build-up of clutter and trash
- Expired food left in the refrigerator
- Unclean bathrooms
- Laundry left to pile up
These factors all point to your parents being unable to do these daily chores themselves. And while diminishing household cleanliness may not be the source of their illnesses, it can add to or worsen their existing conditions.
Health Risks of a Dirty House
Clutter around the floor can serve as tripping hazards that result in falls, while spoiled food attracts pests and spreads harmful bacteria.
Falls are a common risk to elderly parents living alone. As mentioned, falls can happen when there is clutter strewn about the home, but this situation can also occur in a perfectly clean home. In either case, it is a major concern when your parents fall down; it is not something their bodies can easily recover from at their age. Any type of fall, even a minor one, can injure them for months and leave them with ongoing health complications.
Decrease in Personal Hygiene
When visiting, you must pay attention to whether your parents are showering regularly, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and washing and changing their clothes. If they fail to do these things, it can either be a case of your parents being unable to perform these tasks unassisted or they simply forgetting to do them. If this is the case, they may need help with personal care in the future.
While they may not want to hear it, you must have a conversation with your parents about what lifestyle changes they need to make. For some elderly parents, living alone may still be possible with assistance. There are options available to them, whether that means living with a family member or moving to an assisted living community with healthcare professionals. Alternatively, they can opt for an in-home healthcare provider that enables them to remain in their home and still have the assistance they need.
Guardian in Home Health and Security is one such elderly personal care service in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They provide the necessary care for your aging parents, such as assistance with personal hygiene, performing daily chores, and monitoring their health.