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8 Signs Your Parent May Need Personal Care Services

woman helping senior woman

Maybe you’ve noticed your mom isn’t going to her senior exercise class anymore or that your dad is regularly missing a patch of whiskers when he shaves. It’s to be expected that, as your parent gets older, they might slow down a little, or find everyday tasks more challenging. But, at the same time, you may feel concerned. Is there anything you can do to help? Finding a personal care service for your parents may be just the right way to make sure they have the extra assistance they need, helping them stay active and supporting their sense of dignity and independence.

What Is a Personal Care Service?

Personal care services — sometimes called companion services — provide nonmedical assistance in your parent’s home. A professional caregiver might help your mom get to exercise class, help your dad shave, or assist with a host of other self-care tasks or chores around the house, like laundry, meal preparation or running errands. They can also provide companionship – a vital service for seniors who tend to be more vulnerable to social isolation, which is linked to a variety of health risks.

When Is a Personal Care Service a Good Idea?

It can be challenging to know when to suggest to your parent that extra help might be beneficial. But there are signs that could indicate that a candid conversation about your parent’s situation is necessary — and that companion services may offer a welcome solution. Here’s what to look for:

#1: Loss of Interest in Favorite Pastimes

Mobility issues, chronic conditions, depression, and transportation challenges are just a few of the reasons your parent may have stopped doing the things they love.

#2: Changes in Hygiene

An unkempt appearance or body odor may alert you to your parent’s struggle with basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, brushing their teeth and hair, or shaving.

#3: Weight Loss or Gain

Changes in weight can indicate that once-simple tasks like grocery shopping or meal preparation have become difficult, making it harder for your parent to get the nourishment they need.

#4: Mobility Challenges

Difficulty walking, rising from a chair, or stooping to pick something up off the floor can make even the simplest tasks much tougher. It can also leave your parent more vulnerable to falls. Notice if your parent has unexplained bruising or scrapes, which can point to recent falls.

#5: Missed Appointments

If it’s difficult for your mom or dad to hear, they may struggle to make — and keep — appointments for haircuts, dental hygiene or routine health checkups. Simple forgetfulness may also interfere with their ability to keep up with their schedule.

#6: Social Withdrawal

Chronic conditions, impaired hearing and vision, and a shrinking social circle can lead to a decrease in your parent’s social activities, making them susceptible to isolation and loneliness.

#7: A Cluttered and Untidy Home

Spoiled foods in the refrigerator or mail piling up on the counter may suggest that your parent is struggling to keep up with household tasks.

#8: Dents and Scratches in the Car

A variety of factors can affect your parent’s ability to drive, from arthritis to slower reflexes to cognitive impairment. No longer feeling safe behind the wheel will compromise your parent’s ability to engage in activities and maintain their feeling of independence.

Personal Care Services at The Woodlands

If your parent lives in independent living in a senior living community, so much is taken care of for them, from home maintenance and groundskeeping to meals and housekeeping. But your mom or dad might still need some extra help. At The Woodlands at Furman, residents of independent living can take advantage of Connections, our nonmedical companion services. Through Connections, an assistant will provide the helping hand your parent needs to be active and to make the most of the many opportunities The Woodlands has to offer. Examples of the kinds of personalized assistance your parent may receive include:

  • Move-in support such as help with unpacking and organizing their new home
  • Transportation scheduling for errands, medical appointments or social outings
  • Housekeeping chores like changing bed linens, vacuuming or pet care
  • Personal care tasks such as dressing, shaving, or nail care
  • Support of overall well-being through companionship, and help with correspondence or internet use

Contact us to learn more about independent living at The Woodlands, and the personalized assistance offered through Connections.