How Do I Know When A Loved One Needs Long-Term Care?

Age sneaks up on everyone. You might not think your parents need help with daily activities compared to your grandparents. But mental and physical health decline can take you by surprise, especially if someone seemed fine the last time you spoke with them.

Approximately 52% of people turning age 65 will need some type of long-term care in their lifetime. But how do you know whether that time has come sooner rather than later?

Here are a few signs your parents or grandparents may need long-term care.

Their health is impacting their daily life

Illness can take a heavy toll on your body no matter your age. But for seniors who already have limited energy and mobility, poor health can have an impact on their ability to perform daily tasks.

If your parent or grandparent suffers from a chronic medical condition like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, they might need assistance with daily activities. Cancer treatment can have a major impact on the body's performance. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in those with ovaries while lung cancer is still the most common cancer type.

They're unable to keep themselves or others safe

When it comes to your parent or grandparent's safety, odds are your first thought may be home security. After all. there are approximately 2 million home burglaries reported every year in the United States. But burglaries aren't the only type of home security you need to worry about.

Memory issues can cause your parent or grandparent to forget to turn off the stove, to throw away rotten food, or to lock the door before they go out. Not only is this a threat to your parent/grandparent's personal health but it's also a hazard to those they live with. Approximately 10% of grandparents in the U.S. are currently living with a grandchild.

Other safety hazards include trips and falls, forgetting to take medications, and poor home or yard maintenance. That being said, if your parent/grandparent is at risk for hurting themselves or others because of accidents or poor memory, it might be time to look into long-term care options.

Their health is impacted by their inability to perform tasks

Sometimes it isn't your loved one's health that's impacting their ability to perform everyday tasks but the other way around. When your parent or grandparent forgets to eat or drink water or they forget to take their medication, their health can begin to suffer.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to take care of your loved one on your own. Home care agencies or assisted-living homes may be able to help to keep your parents or grandparents healthy and happy. Assisted-living or home health aides can help your loved one with daily activities and reminding them of when they need to take medications or eat.

Age affects everyone, but sometimes age or illness can keep you from being able to perform the daily activities you need to stay safe and healthy. If your parent or grandparent is experiencing chronic illness or they're experiencing signs of aging that makes it difficult for them to live on their own safely, it may be time to talk to them about assisted living and long-term care.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com