COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The recent death of a Forest Acres senior citizen is putting the spotlight back on care for the elderly.
John Legare with the Office of Aging says the growing senior population is one of the biggest issues our nation is facing. The number of seniors in South Carolina is expected to grow by 123 percent by 2030.
"One of the biggest issues involved in this is the role reversal that many families will see when children start caring for aging parents," said Legare.
So how do you make sure your parents stay safe in their golden years? First, watch for changes in their behavior.
"Notice small things," said Legare. "Maybe if they go to the grocery store that's only 2 miles away, but when they get back there's 50 miles on the odometer, maybe they went somewhere else, they could have gotten lost."
Legare says early signs of dementia could be small: like losing car keys and forgetting what day of the week it is.
If an older relative comes to live with you, expect initial push back and set ground rules.
"What the parent might do in helping with cooking and cleaning or whether they're going to pay part of the bills," said Legare.
Also, make sure you check on your loved one regularly. Legare says the most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open.
Legare says another thing you may want to consider is to buy your loved one a cell phone. He says if you're aging parent has dementia, you may even want to consider buying a tracking device.