Admitting the need for help at home is difficult, especially for highly independent seniors. Because of this, family members, neighbors, and loved ones may not be aware that it is time for some extra help to maintain a healthy and safe home environment. Knowing and watching for signs that could indicate extra assistance is needed may fall on family, friends or advisors.
When spending time with aging loved ones, take note of the following:
Weight loss. For the elderly, weight loss without trying could be related to difficulty cooking, loss of taste or smell, or other underlying conditions such as malnutrition, dementia, or depression.
Personal grooming and housekeeping changes. Failure to keep up with daily personal care routines such as bathing, tooth brushing, and other basic grooming could indicate dementia, depression, or physical impairments. Any big changes in the way things are done around the house could also provide clues to health.
Increased injury and safety concerns. Take a look around the home, keeping an eye out for any red flags. Does the senior have difficulty navigating a narrow stairway? Has she fallen recently? Is she able to read directions on medication containers? Is there adequate lighting for nighttime trips to the bathroom?
Mood changes. Drastically different moods or outlooks could be a sign of depression or other health concerns.
Struggling to keep finances in order. If mail is piling up unopened, it can indicate that paying the bills and taking care of day-to-day finances is becoming overwhelming. Handling money differently or more poorly may also indicate a need for help.
For more tips on what to watch for in order to know when a loved one requires more care, click here.
Knowing the warning signs that help is needed in the home can help families know when it is time to plan for the care of their loved ones. If you think a family member may need help at home, contact the compassionate caregivers at Heaven at Home in the Denton, Texas area at 866-381-0500. Our staff will be happy to help.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Eldercare.gov