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Noticing changes in your parent's usual behavior is key to determining if your loved one needs extra help. Some changes are a normal outcome of the aging process, but others may be alerting you to a potential problem. From their overall well-being to safe driving, the following checklists are designed to help determine if your parents could use some assistance. Look over these lists to determine if maybe it's time to encourage your parents to make a change – so they can thrive and make the most of their retirement years.

Overall Well-being

Be aware of changes in your parents' behavior and overall demeanor to signal a decline in health. If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, it's time to talk to your parents.

  • Are they failing to eat properly and regularly?
  • Is the house unusually cluttered or dirty?
  • Are they wearing the same clothes and not bathing regularly?
  • Are they missing appointments?
  • Do they forget to take their medication?
  • Have they lost weight recently?
  • Have they lost touch with friends?
  • Are they neglecting their bills?
  • Has their mood changed dramatically?
  • Do they have trouble getting around?

For older people, loneliness and isolation are among the biggest factors in failing mental and physical health. At Friendship Village, your parent could have a private apartment with so many things provided — housekeeping, all maintenance, access to five different dining locations, courtesy transportation and a full schedule of fun and interesting events. Plus, we have an on-site Alexian Physicians Center with access to an array of health professionals.

If they need more help, you can arrange for many services to be delivered right to their apartment. And at Friendship Village, they can have a lifetime guarantee of care, with access to assisted living, skilled care or memory support if they ever need it.

Find out more by calling Friendship Village at 847-490-6271.

Driving Ability

One of the touchiest subjects between adult children and their parents is when they should stop driving. Some indicators that it may be time to relinquish the keys include:

  • Driving too fast or too slow
  • Slow reaction time to obstacles including pedestrians and other drivers
  • Relying on passengers for help navigating the road
  • Failing to yield or obey traffic signals
  • Not being able to turn the wheel quickly or the reaction time to hit the brakes quickly
  • The inability to judge the distance between other cars
  • Increasing number of accidents or near misses
  • Drifting across lane markings or bumping into curbs
  • Forgetting to turn on headlights after dark
  • Being bothered by glare from oncoming headlights, streetlights, or other bright objects
  • Getting lost repeatedly in familiar areas

Safety at Home

Home may be where the heart is, but it can often be the place where older adults are most injured. Be on the lookout in your parents' home for these common household hazards.

  • Outlets and switches that are unusually warm or hot to the touch can mean faulty wiring
  • Outlets with smudge marks around the socket can mean an electrical short, which can lead to a fire
  • Cords from lamps, phones and other devices that are in their walking path, they can cause tripping hazards
  • Cracked cords and overloaded outlets can also lead to fire
  • Rugs and runners without a slip-resistant backing can cause falls
  • Telephones without emergency numbers nearby
  • Telephones that are not within easy reach – they should be next to the bed and on low table tops so they are easily accessible in case of a fall
  • The absence of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, they should be on every floor and have the batteries replaced according to the instructions
  • Space heaters that are improperly plugged in or are left near flammable materials
  • Keeping flammable materials like cloths, towels or plastics near the stove top
  • Improper ventilation in the kitchen
  • Poor lighting throughout the house, make sure to use the proper bulbs in lamps and lighting fixtures
  • Poorly lit stairways or slick staircase surfaces
  • Exits that are blocked or cluttered can make it hard for an emergency exit
  • Bathtubs or showers without non-skid mats
  • No grab bars in the bathroom and shower
  • Ash trays, smoking materials, or other heat sources near the bed