As our loved ones age, they may need help with daily activities that we take for granted. This guide outlines 10 indicators that care needs are present.
The next time you visit your loved one, look for some of these clear warning signs:
- Mail and bills piling up: Is your loved one effectively managing their mail and bills? If not, this may have become too overwhelming a task.
- Forgetting to take medication: A sign of short-term memory loss, forgetting to take important medications can have long term effects.
- A cluttered and unkempt house: Have they always managed a clean home? If yes, lingering untidiness might indicate they are no longer capable of cleaning up after themselves.
- Expired food in the refrigerator: This can be tied to many reasons. Simple negligence is a possibility, but an inability to prepare food and potentially dangerous forgetfulness are as well.
- Scorching on pots & pans: This occurs when they are left on the stove too long. Whatever the cause, it is a hazard for both your loved one and surrounding neighbors.
- Wearing the same clothing repeatedly: Personal hygiene has many facets, and this is a sign that it has been downgraded in importance. Observe the state of their dress, hair, and cleanliness.
- Missed doctor appointments: Can your loved one remember when they have appointments? More importantly, can they safely drive to these appointments?
- Phone calls at odd hours: Confusion about the time of day or when it is appropriate to make a phone call should not be overlooked.
- Symptoms of depression: Common to elderly individuals that live alone, depression can lead to much greater problems as its sufferer becomes disinterested in daily life.
- Inappropriate behavior, clothing, or speech: Not everything out of the ordinary can be considered a sign for care need. But be attentive to behaviors that are not common to your loved one, especially if they are repeated.
If your loved one experiences some or most of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to consider professional care.