Nowadays, families are increasingly spread across the country, sometimes the world. As our parents age and require assistance at home, being separated by such a great distance can complicate the communication required to assess the situation and provide the proper assistance.
If you do live far from your aging parents, it’s likely you still maintain some sort of regular contact with them. Phone calls, emails, visits on holidays or vacations together are all great ways to keep the family connected. However, during these infrequent contacts, it can be easy for underlying problems to remain hidden.
In situations where both aging parents are living together, it is common for one spouse to compensate for the others failings and may mask or hide the problem from you. Illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are not easily detected by long distance children until it is well advanced.
When talking over the phone, or visiting with your parents, look for the following warning signs that some assistance at home may be required:
Emotionally distant, distracted or unavailable Visiting the doctor too much, or not at all Deterioration of personal appearance or hygiene Problems maintaining the household Unpaid or late bills Difficulty preparing meals and cleaning up
Thinking proactively is the best way to be prepared. You can talk with friends, co-workers or other relatives who are currently caring for their parents to get an idea of their experiences. The death of one spouse is all too often the event that tragically reveals underlying problems and assistance required. ~myseniorcare.com