13 Dec

Home for the Holidays: How to Recognize Warning Signs that Care is Needed

Getting together with older loved ones in the Dallas and Denton areas this holiday season? It may be a good time to take stock of how an elderly loved one is doing and to see if there may be warning signs that care is needed in the home. As families come together for the holidays, many adult children notice that things have changed since they last saw Mom and Dad. Failure to keep up with daily hygiene routines such as bathing, tooth brushing and other basic grooming could indicate health problems such as dementia, depression, or physical impairments. Inspect to see if clothes are clean and if your loved one appears to be maintaining good grooming habits.

At the dinner table, appetites may appear to be healthy during the holidays, but noticeable weight loss without trying could be a sign that something’s wrong. For the elderly, weight loss could be related to many factors, including:

  • Difficulty cooking. The person could be having trouble finding the energy to cook, grasping the tools necessary to prepare a meal, reading labels or directions on food products, or getting groceries into the home. Check the pantry to see if foods are fresh and stocked appropriately; assess pots and pans for ease of use and heaviness.
  • Loss of taste or smell. Some loss of taste and smell is natural with aging, especially after age 60. In other cases, illness or medication contributes to the loss of these senses.
  • Underlying conditions. Sometimes weight loss is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as malnutrition, dementia, depression, or even cancer.

Additionally, any big changes in the way things are done around the house could provide clues to health. For example, scorched pots could mean forgetting about food cooking on the stove. Neglected housework could be a sign of depression, dementia, or other problems. Check to see if the lights are working, the heat is on, the bathrooms are clean, or if clutter is blocking the walkways of the home.

It can be difficult to admit that our loved ones need help, but making a plan for care now can help them live a healthier, safer, and happier life at home. Contact the care experts at Heaven at Home in Denton, TX to learn more about how to tell if your loved one needs assistance at home.

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