Call Us: 808-547-6500

Does Your Parent Need Help at Home?

January 03, 2013

###Excerpt from

Maybe you’ve noticed that Dad’s unopened mail is piling up. Or Mom, once meticulous about her appearance, is wearing wrinkled clothes and not doing her hair. Perhaps there are bruises on your aging parent’s arms. When you bring up the subject, you hear, “Everything is fine. There’s no need to worry.”

Admitting they need help would mean they can’t take care of themselves anymore, and no one wants to lose their independence. The burden often falls on the family to recognize the signs that an aging parent might need help with daily living tasks.

home careThis doesn’t necessarily mean that your loved one needs assisted living or a nursing home, but they may need some extra help in their home.  How do you know if your elderly parent needs home care? Here are some warning signs to look for:

•Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away

•Missing important appointments

•Unexplained bruising

•Trouble getting up from a seated position

•Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility

•Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks


•Unpleasant body odor

•Infrequent showering and bathing

•Strong smell of urine in the house

•Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care

•Dirty house, extreme clutter and dirty laundry piling up

•Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox

•Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors

•Poor diet or weight loss

•Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

•Changes in mood or extreme mood swings

•Forgetting to take medications – or taking more than the prescribed dosage

•Diagnosis of dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s

•Unexplained dents and scratches on a car

If you think your parent may need help at home, we may be able to help.  St. Francis Healthcare System offers a wide variety of home care services, from assistance with personal hygiene to more intensive nursing care.  For older adults who could benefit from group activities, our senior day center in Manoa provides social interaction and planned activities in a safe, nurturing environment.  And in 2013, we are expanding our services to the Leeward side of Oahu.  The St. Francis Intergenerational Center in Ewa will combine an adult day program and preschool in the same facility, caring for our seniors and keiki in a healthy learning environment.

For more information on home care or on our adult day programs, call us at (808) 547-6500.  We understand, and we want to help.

About the Author