Indicators That Parents Need Help

Signs That Your Parents Need Help

If you are visiting and notice these items, it may be time to evaluate how safe it is for your parent to live alone.


  • Food out of date or moldy in the refrigerator

  • Bills piling up unpaid.

  • Utilities being shut off for non-payment.

  • Prescriptions not being refilled.

  • Clothes not being laundered.

  • House not being kept clean.

  • Maintenance not being done.

  • Range is not being turned off.

  • Dishes in the cupboards are not clean.

These are just a few signs that your parent is not doing as well as you thought. Many times they are very proud and do not want their children to think they can’t handle it alone. What can you do?

  1. Sit down and have a frank talk with them. Indicate that you have noticed they are struggling and ask what you can do to help.
  2. Elicit the help of their doctor or lawyer to get support.
  3. In some instances if they are a danger to themselves or others, then you will have to report them to the Dept. of Health & Senior Services hotline:  800-392-0210.  This will prompt a social service worker to visit and determine if they should not be alone. If the social worker determines they should not be alone, services will be initiated to keep them safe.

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