And as most of us move from our 40s to our 50s and beyond, we begin to see those changes taking place in our parents. For many of us, the rather unsettling experience of seeing our parents weaken both physically and psychologically, and then taking care of them the way they once took such good care of us, is yet another unavoidable fact of life.
We do it, of course, because we love our parents, and because we can’t bear the idea of anything happening to them. That’s always a possibility as seniors grow older, especially if they’re living alone without a caregiver.
But an unfortunate reality of our senior-aged parents growing older, and perhaps more frail, is that adult children often miss the otherwise obvious signs that our parents need help. There are any number of reasons for that, starting with the fact that most senior parents simply don’t want to admit to their children that they need help. After all, growing weaker and increasingly frail is nothing if not a sign of impending mortality; it’s a difficult thing for anyone to face up to. And no matter how old you may be, your parents will likely always view you as their babies; for some senior parents, asking their children for help doesn’t even occur.
But regardless, it is the responsibility of you and your siblings to pay close attention to the mental and physical well-being of your aging parents. Deducing their state over the phone can be difficult to impossible, but if you’re going to be visiting them in person over the holidays, you’ll have an ideal opportunity to look out for any of the more typical warning signs.
If you or your siblings or other relatives notice any of the following, it could be time to discuss the possibility of bring in a caregiver, or even an eventual move into a senior care facility.