Acorn Stairlifts News

Welcome to Acorn Stairlifts News Section. Explore our blog for impactful resources, insightful articles, personal reflections and ideas that inspire action on the topics you care about.

5 Signs That Your Ageing Parents May Need Help and How to Approach This Difficult Discussion

12:00am | & Tips and Advice

Watching our parents age can be a challenging experience, especially as we begin to notice changes in their health and abilities.

While it's natural for our loved ones to require more support as they grow older, recognising the signs that they may need assistance can be a sensitive and difficult process.

In this blog, we'll explore five common signs that your ageing parents may need help, discussing strategies for approaching this delicate topic with compassion and understanding.

By recognising these signs and having open, honest conversations, we can ensure that our ageing parents receive the love and support they deserve, all while maintaining their dignity and independence for as long as possible.

Tell-Tale Signs That You Need to Step in and Assist Your Ageing Parents

1. They are Frequently Forgetful or Confused

If you find that your parents are increasingly experiencing consistent states of forgetfulness or confusion, it is probably time to intervene for the sake of their well-being.

While occasional memory lapses are a natural part of ageing, persistent confusion or forgetfulness could signify more serious underlying conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

The problem with these conditions is that as they progress, they not only affect memory but also impact decision-making abilities, daily functioning, and overall quality of life.

Consequently, left unaddressed, this could lead to potential safety risks such as forgetting to turn off appliances or lock the front door, missing important appointments, or becoming disoriented in once familiar surroundings that can put your loved ones in danger.

2. There is a Decline in Their Housekeeping or Personal Hygiene

A noticeable decline in housekeeping or personal hygiene habits can be a clear indication that ageing parents are not able to carry out essential daily tasks and may need additional assistance and support.

For example, for individuals who have always taken pride in maintaining a tidy home or grooming themselves meticulously, a sudden neglect of these areas can be concerning.

Noticeable changes such as dirty dishes piling up, clutter accumulating, or a generally unkempt living environment may signify physical limitations or cognitive changes that hinder their ability to perform everyday household tasks effectively.

Similarly, neglecting personal hygiene, such as infrequent bathing, wearing dirty clothes, or overlooking dental care, can signal challenges in maintaining self-care routines, which may be indicative of broader health issues or limitations that hinder your loved ones’ ability to properly care for themselves in the way that they deserve.

3. They Have Difficulty Managing Their Medications

Another significant sign that it is time to step in and assist your ageing loved ones is when they are having difficulty managing the medications critical for maintaining their health.

Complex medication regimens can become overwhelming, especially if ageing parents are dealing with multiple prescriptions for various health conditions.

For individuals who once managed their medications with ease, struggles such as forgetting to take doses, taking incorrect doses, or mixing up medications can signal cognitive decline or physical limitations.

Furthermore, missing doses or taking medications improperly can have serious consequences, including adverse reactions, exacerbation of health issues, or dangerous medication interactions that can threaten the safety and well-being of your loved ones.

4. They Are Neglecting Their Finances

Neglecting your finances can be a glaring indicator that ageing parents may require extra assistance and support.

For individuals who have been responsible for managing their finances throughout their lives, uncharacteristic changes such as unpaid bills, unopened mail, or confusion about financial matters can signal potential cognitive decline or difficulty managing tasks independently.

Moreover, sadly, older adults may become vulnerable to financial exploitation or scams if they are unable to make sound financial decisions or recognise the warning signs.

Mismanaging money or making irreparable financial mistakes can lead to serious consequences that impact the well-being of your ageing parents such as unpaid bills, mounting debt, or even the risk of losing their assets or housing.

5. There are Safety Concerns

Finally, general safety concerns can serve as a significant red flag indicating it is time to intervene in your ageing parents' lives.

These concerns can manifest in various ways, from an increase in car accidents, to frequent unexplained bruises or injuries, to mobility issues resulting in an increased risk of falls.

Ignoring these warning signs can potentially lead to life-threatening accidents, injuries, or exacerbation of existing health conditions.

My Parents Need Help—What Should I Do Now?

You’ve seen the signs, determined that your ageing parents are in need of some help, and are ready to step in. What now?

Unfortunately, it’s time to have that dreaded, difficult discussion with them—A tough topic to tackle but a conversation that is well worth it.

However, it is important to keep a few things in mind when approaching this sensitive subject.

Why Some Ageing Parents are Unwilling to Accept Help

Ageing can be difficult to cope with for a number of reasons, whether it’s increasing physical and mental health concerns, feeling lonely or like a burden to others, or your independence and freedom seemingly slipping through your fingers.

In fact, research has revealed that more people fear losing their independence in old age and being forced to move into a nursing home than death, which explains why older people are reluctant to accept help from others.

Some of the other biggest fears of ageing include failing memory/onset of dementia, becoming less mobile, deteriorating eyesight, and getting certain diseases/illnesses associated with getting older.

The common theme among these fears is clear—Older people don’t want to give up their self-autonomy or way of life. Ultimately, they are afraid that accepting help means that they are giving up their independence, making them feel weak, useless, and vulnerable.

From a different perspective, it can be painful and worrisome for people close to an ageing loved one to watch someone they deeply care about suffer.

The worried family members or friends may easily come off as controlling or pushy to them, as they make suggestions to someone who already is feeling like they are losing control of their lives.

However, these suggestions come from a place of love and concern, as they want to assure that their loved ones are being well taken care of and are living in a way that keeps them happy and fulfilled.

The Importance of Understanding Both Perspectives

These conflicting feelings between an elderly person who doesn’t want to be a burden and a loved one who doesn’t want to constantly worry about the well-being of the senior citizen can often lead to a disconnected debate.

When neither side makes the effort to understand or listen to the other side, both people can easily get frustrated and more stubborn in their opinions, digging their heels in harder.

This can lead to a lack of open-mindedness and ultimately leaves you both empty-handed with no solution.

However, with the right approach to talking about this delicate topic, as well as an equal exchange of thoughts and ideas between the both of you, you can help your loved one reframe the way they think about independence.

You can help them realise that getting the help that they need does not mean that they are giving up their independence.

In fact, it can actually mean the opposite.

Most of the time, getting the help you need actually increases your independence and provides peace of mind to the loved ones who are concerned about you.

Here are some simple steps to help guide you and your parents towards a productive, successful conversation that will leave you with a game plan that will provide both sides with greater peace of mind.

5 Simple Steps to a Meaningful Discussion, not a Debate

1. Start a Conversation (This Means Two-Way Communication)

Because this topic is such a delicate one, it is important to approach it as such.

Instead of being accusatory or embarrassing them, it is important to open the door to open communication by easing into it.

Do not use trigger words such as care, caregiver, senior living, elderly care, or elderly homes that are likely to bring the conversation to an abrupt end.

Instead, ask open-ended, casual questions such as: “Have you ever thought about hiring someone to help around the house?”, “Are you still getting around the house easily?”, or “Where do you see yourself living as you get older?”

These questions help give you an idea of where their head is at, as well as an appropriate approach to take when bringing up your concerns about their safety.

2. Express Your Concerns, Coming from a Place of Love and Understanding

Tell them that you’ve noticed that things may have gotten harder for them and that you think they could benefit from some help.

Most importantly, take the time to explain to them that you love and care for them and want to make sure that their health and safety are being protected at all times.

Because it may be easy for them to get defensive and counter your concerns, it is important to remind them that there are a variety of options out there that will allow them to keep their independence and lifestyle.

Tell them that even if they think they are completely fine the way they are now, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of helping hands or the addition of a mobility aid in their home, just in case.

3. Offer a Selection of Solutions—Don’t Push

No one likes to feel cornered.

The last thing you want to do is make your loved ones feel powerless in a decision that determines the course of the rest of their life.

Give a variety of recommendations and possible solutions without being forceful. Gently explain your reasoning and emphasise how these changes will actually increase their independence, not take it away.

 For example, if your loved ones do not want to move to a senior home, you can consider looking into elderly in-home care or installing a mobility aid such as a stairlift for seniors.

Installing a stairlift not only saves money from senior living costs and the process of moving, but it also helps your loved ones regain their independence while keeping them safe.

With Acorn Stairlifts, there are a variety of stairlift models for curved and straight, as well as indoor and outdoor staircases so that your loved one can easily get around and continue to do the activities that they love.

4. Listen to What They Have to Say

Remember that older people fear losing their independence and control over everything else.

This means that it is crucial that you listen to them and let them know that their opinions are valued.

 Instead of trying to come back with arguments or counter their thoughts with your own, it is important for you to just sit back and listen to everything that they have to say.

Acknowledge and validate their thoughts and feelings and let them know that you want what’s best for them and will respect whatever they decide to do.

5. Give Them Time and Space to Make their Decision and Respect Their Choice

If your loved one is not mentally incapacitated, is not in immediate danger, and is capable of making their own decisions, allow them to do so.

Remember that it may take some time for them to think it over so give them some space.

Though it can be frustrating, even if they decide that they are not ready for change, respect their decision and recommend that they seek expert advice. Sometimes it takes a medical professional or counsellor to convince them to do what is best for them.

No matter what, though, remind them that you love them and want them to do what’s best for them. Remember to not react in anger and be understanding and supportive of them in any case.

Regain Your Independence—Take Your Life to the Next Level with an Acorn Stairlift

It’s no secret that Acorn Stairlifts has improved thousands of peoples’ quality of life who desperately needed it.

In fact, every eight minutes somewhere in the world, another life is lifted. This is because every eight minutes, an Acorn stairlift is installed inside, or even outside, of someone’s home, helping them regain their mobility, safety, and independence.

This means that every eight minutes, Acorn allows one more person to break free from the bondage of fear, dependency, and immobility.

One of the biggest fears that people have about growing older is losing their independence.

However, with the help of a stairlift, senior living doesn’t have to feel like a prison sentence.

No longer will you have to crawl up the stairs on your hands and knees, wait for a loved one or caregiver to help you navigate up or down the tricky steps, or avoid staircases altogether.

With a stairlift, you can go where you want whenever you want with ease, comfort, and safety, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

If you or a loved one struggle to use the stairs or find yourselves avoiding them altogether, a stairlift will help you rise above these obstacles, granting you full access to the home you love in one seamless, sweeping motion.

Don’t miss out on reaching new heights—Allow Acorn to change your life, granting you freedom, independence, mobility, and confidence with only the best quality stairlifts.

Click here to claim your free, no-obligation quote and learn how you can take the first step towards lifting your life today.

« Back to News Index