Dad to live alone

Is it still Okay for Dad to Live Alone?

When your dad lives alone, you may begin to worry as he gets older. You may notice that he’s wearing the same clothes a few days in a row. Or, he seems to be more forgetful as of late and has trouble remembering to eat every meal. Sometimes living alone, even with family members stopping frequently, still causes a form of isolation. This isolation can put at risk for your dad his safety, health, and emotional well-being.


We will cover in this article:

When your dad shouldn’t live alone anymore

Deciding when the right time to talk about hiring some in-home help for your dad can be a delicate situation. He may feel that his independence is threatened or that you think he isn’t capable of aging in place. Below are some signs to look for if you think your dad may need assistance:

    Medication:

    If your dad has a chronic health issue, he may not be taking his medication at all or skipping a dose. Or, he could ingest too much of it and overdose.

    Doctor appointments:

    Another sign is whether he’s making his doctor’s appointment or not. If your dad has crucial health issues and is missing appointments, he could end up with other serious health problems.

    Housecleaning:

    If your dad has started to let the house go if there are tripping hazards everywhere and the bathroom and kitchen are dirty, there may be an issue.

    Poor nutrition:

    If your dad is either putting on weight or losing weight, check to see how he’s eating. A senior who has health challenges or dementia will either struggle to try to make food or forget to eat entirely.

    Financial trouble:

    If you notice unpaid bills lying around or shut off notices, your dad may be having memory lapses. Also, scammers prey on the elderly getting them to invest in fake scams.

    Social isolation:

    If your dad isn’t meeting with friends or getting out and socializing, he could be depressed. Embarrassment about health problems, or a problem with transportation or fatigue could contribute to this.

    Unexplained bruising:

    If you see unexplained bruising on your dad, ask him if he’s falling. He could be falling and not saying anything because of being afraid of being removed from his home.

Other issues of concern

There can be other issues of concern concerning safety and health. For instance, suppose your dad has a health issue which lands him in the hospital for a period of time. He has a long recovery with some complications. You’re concerned that, perhaps, that the illness has affected his ability to take care of himself.

You want to keep an eye on him to be sure that his quality of life isn’t affected. Some things to watch out for which may be a cause for concern are:

  • Your dad may be more liable to slip on tile or fall while going up or downstairs. Even shelving can be a hazard if it’s too tall and he tries to retrieve something without using a ladder. When you go and visit, keep an eye out for potential safety hazards.
  • As your dad grows older, he will lose more and more friends and family members as they become older and pass away. This can give him a sense of social isolation. Feelings of isolation can affect personal hygiene and personal care. Looks for signs that he’s not taking care of his personal hygiene frequently.
  • If your dad has developed a health problem recently, his ability to live on his own and his quality of life may be affected. Arrange for an in-home companion to help him improve his quality of life.
  • Another thing is that your dad may not be comfortable living by himself anymore but doesn’t want to admit it. He may be experiencing feelings of isolation, night frights, and depression.
  • Loss or decrease of eyesight is another factor to consider. If your dad’s eyesight is getting worse, then he may be having difficulty reading the labels on his pill bottles. If eyesight is an issue, take him to get his eyes checked, he may need cataract surgery, or his eye prescription changed.
  • If you notice credit card bills which seem high or other explained bills for unusual purchases, you need to check into your dad’s finances. He could be making spur of the moment purchases for things he doesn’t need. In this case, you need to monitor his spending and make him accountable for his spending.
  • If you have a lunch date scheduled with your dad and you show up, and he’s still in his PJ’s, he may be becoming confused. Check his calendar to make sure he hasn’t missed any crucial appointments such as dental or eye appointments. A missed doctor appointment can have some serious health risks. Another idea is to write down on his calendar and yours any appointments so that you can remind him.
  • Another issue of concern is if close friends of your dad have called and expressed concerns. Maybe they have seen some disturbing behavior and want to know if you’ve noticed it as well. If other people are noticing, then it’s time to look into options such as in-home care.

How to suggest in-home care

If you see any of the warnings above, you may want to consider talking to your dad about in-home health care. An in-home health aide can help with many of the issues your dad is facing. Plus, with in-home care, he can age in place comfortably and safely. Some of the problems which home healthcare can handle for your dad are:

    Nursing care:

    An in-home personal care professional can change dressings, take vital signs, keep track of any changing health issues and notify the doctor. This permits your dad to be able to come home from the hospital sooner when ill or having a health issue.

    Errands:

    A personal care aide can run errands for your father like picking up prescriptions, doing grocery shopping, and even walking the dog. This will give your dad peace of mind knowing that his needs are taken care of.

    Meal preparation:

    Preparing meals and even preparing them and freezing them is something a personal aide can do. This way, if the meal is in the freeze, all he has to do is reheat. This will make sure he is eating healthy and nutritionally.

    Bill paying:

    Hiring an in-home personal aide will also assist your dad in keeping his bills current.

    Companionship:

    A personal aide or companion can keep your dad company. Or, they can drop him off at a senior center or a friend’s house and pick him up when his visit is completed.

    Fall prevention:

    When a personal aide or companion is there to assist your dad when he’s walking, then there will be a less likely chance of him falling.

Keeping your dad safe in his own home is a primary concern for you. Knowing that you can hire professional homecare aides to help keep him there will help to relieve your fears.

References:

http://www.brethrencarevillage.org/blog/2017/06/05/5-signs-mom-or-dad-shouldnt-live-alone-anymore

https://www.prevention.com/sex/5-signs-its-time-for-your-parents-to-stop-living-alone/slide/2

http://dailycaring.com/talking-to-parents-about-home-care-3-expert-tips/

http://www.benrose.org/resources/article-signs-older-adults-living-along.cfm
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-examination-room/201704/how-know-if-your-elderly-parent-is-no-longer-safe-home