Are your aging parents competent to live safely at home?

There may be signs that they are beginning to need home assistance. Are they able to wake and start their day on a normal schedule? Can they prepare a nutritious meal? Are they bathing? Are they able to toilet themselves?

It is important to make sure your parents’ home environment is appropriate for their changing physical needs. Doubly important if they are showing early signs of cognitive impairment.

If you notice that your aging parents or community elders need help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing, they may have decreased cognitive functioning associated with early or middle stage dementia. Even in their own home, the combination of poor eyesight and minor safety hazards can put seniors at risk for falls, dehydration, infection, and injury. (Think broken elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip).

Keeping track of physical symptoms, mental health, and senior nutrition is of critical importance. Warning signs that living alone is no longer safe for an elderly parent include:

– Medication management or confusion
– Poor personal hygiene
– Failing eyesight
– Social isolation
– Forgetting appointments
– Unable to keep up with daily chores and housekeeping
– Poor nutrition or malnutrition
– Home is unsafe; hazards such as clutter and loose carpeting
– Unable to pay bills on time

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: ; or online at: