Sometimes it’s obvious when older parents need outside help — like when they’re having difficulty managing numerous chronic illnesses or losing mobility and unable to maneuver well even at home. But mental problems may not be as easy to spot.
For instance, is Dad’s forgetfulness — his misplacing house keys or missing appointments — normal aging or a sign of something more serious, such as dementia?
It can be hard to judge the severity of problems if you live far away and speak infrequently. But even if you live close by, you might not realize the cumulative effects of gradual changes.