As our loved ones grow older and face an increase in health challenges, it can be hard to stay up to date on how they are doing. Many seniors are not always upfront about their health concerns, or the difficulties they face when living alone. Often, seniors have a strong desire to remain independent and in control of their lives for as long as possible. To avoid a traumatic accident or complex crisis from occurring (as they tend to happen suddenly), it’s vital for families to regularly monitor their aging loved one’s physical and mental abilities.
We’ve put together some common signs that signify it may be time to get your aging loved one additional support.
Changes in mood or mental ability
Have you noticed an increase in irritability or aggression? Aggression can be a side effect of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and is an important sign to look out for. Other signs to watch for are forgetfulness, lack of interest in activities that once brought joy (reading, gardening, etc.), mood swings, lack of motivation, and depression.
Lack of hygiene
Have you noticed poor personal hygiene? This can consist of unpleasant body odor (as a result of infrequent showering/bathing), bad breath (lack of oral care), untrimmed nails, or even wearing tattered or disheveled clothing.
Forgetting to take medications
Be sure to notice if there are bottles full of prescription medications that have not been taken regularly as prescribed. This can be a major red flag that your loved one needs help.
Lack of home maintenance
Are there broken or damaged appliances and fixtures? Is trash piling up outside and are weeds growing out of control due to lack of yard maintenance? These are all important signs to look out for.
Behind in finances
It’s important to notice if bills are being paid late (or not at all), if there are calls from collection agencies happening frequently, or bounced checks. These are all warning signs that your loved one needs help.
Missing medical appointments
Missing appointments is a common sign that help is needed, whether that means simply not showing up, or frequently rescheduling missed appointments.
Frequent injuries or bruising
If you’ve noticed frequent bruises, scratches, or cuts appearing more often than normal, without any reason or explanation, this is an indication that your loved one is in need of assistance.
Unexplained dents/damage on their car
Are they getting into more accidents? If you’ve noticed that your loved one is not paying attention to their car or safety, this is a signal that they are in need of care.
Have you checked their pantry/refrigerator lately? Do they lack groceries or has their food expired? If they are losing weight due to the inability to cook or take care of themselves, this is a warning sign.
Confusion and uncertainty when performing tasks
Some cognitive signs can appear in increased confusion with performing everyday tasks. This can include vacuuming, putting away groceries, cleaning dishes, making the bed, doing laundry, and many more. Additionally, if confusion is followed by emotional distress, this is a sign that frequent forgetfulness and confusion is something more than just the regular forgetfulness that can happen to anyone while doing everyday tasks. Be sure to make note of any changes in behavior, as this signifies that help is needed.
Have you noticed any of these signs or symptoms in your parents or aging loved ones? The onset of these changes can happen suddenly and it can be challenging to determine the proper treatment. Our team at Feinberg Consulting is here to help guide you during these difficult times. Contact us today at 877.538.5425 to learn more.