Thinking that your elderly parent might have Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most intimidating situations that you can face as a family caregiver. You know that this condition is life-changing and that if your parent is living with it, that it will impact the rest of your caregiver experience with them, and the rest of their lives. As with most other conditions, early detection is critical when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. Getting your aging parent a diagnosis as soon in their progression as possible means that you can get your parent the medical attention that they need, and can help them to get on the course of treatment and management that is right for them.
While the first thing that you are likely to think about when it comes to evaluating your parent for potential signs of Alzheimer’s is behaviors that they exhibit, this is not the only indication that your senior’s cognitive functioning has changed. Evaluating their surroundings is another way that you may be able to detect changes in your parent’s abilities, activities, and functioning that could indicate something serious.
Some things to look out for in your senior’s home that might indicate that they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease include:
• Unkempt lawn. Your parent’s lawn is the first thing that you will notice as you approach their home. Pay close attention and make sure that it is being kept up in a way that corresponds with how your parent has always kept their lawn. While it might not be as pristine due to their physical limitations and challenges, if it looks as though it has been totally neglected, it may indicate something serious.
• Built-up mail or newspapers. A senior with Alzheimer’s disease might forget that they receive mail or newspapers, or believe that they have already gathered these items. Check their mailbox and front porch for an accumulation of a lot of these items that might indicate that this is a problem.
• Poor housekeeping. It is not uncommon for elderly adults to not be able to take care of their housekeeping tasks as well as they once did. If you notice that your parent’s home is particularly disheveled, such as trash that has accumulated, a considerable amount of dirty laundry, dust and dirt, and other dirtiness, but have not noticed excessive physical limitations, it may indicate that they are no longer thinking of these tasks, or do not know how to handle them properly.
• Spoiled food. Go through your parent’s kitchen and check the food that is in their refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets. Seniors suffering Alzheimer’s might not understand these dates and may also not be able to connect bad smells or flavors to rotting, putting them at risk of health problems.
If your parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or their challenges and symptoms have increased to the point that you feel they would benefit from additional care and support, now may be the ideal time to consider starting home care for them. Whether it is early in your parent’s progression with the disease or they have been coping with it for some time and have reached a more challenging stage, this in-home senior care services provider can make a tremendous difference in their life and the life of you as their family caregiver. This care provider can step in to fill care gaps, provide services that enable you to take time away from your care efforts and focus on other obligations in your life, as well as yourself, and encourage your loved one to maintain a lifestyle that is more active, independent, and fulfilling throughout their progression.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care services in Redwood City, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.