It can often be difficult for family members to determine when an elderly individual needs extra help or a change in lifestyle.
Many times the person will not want others to know that he or she has been struggling and may not share their difficulties with the family. While you do not want to force them to make changes they are not comfortable with, you need to be sure that they are safe and healthy in their current situation.
Physicians and social workers have identified some warning signs that may indicate that an elderly person needs some assistance. These signs include:
Sudden weight loss:
This may indicate the elderly person is not able to provide enough nourishment to keep them at an ideal weight.
Bruises or scrapes may be an indication that the individual is falling or may be unsteady on his or her own feet.
You may be concerned if your loved one is forgetting appointments, forgetting to pay bills, or consistently forgetting his or her address, phone number, etc.
Lack of personal hygiene:
Some elderly people will stop bathing or brushing their hair regularly because they forget to do it or it becomes too difficult for them.
Household chores go undone:
If you notice dirty dishes stacked up, a lack of clean clothes and a dirty, unkempt home, this can be a sign that your loved one is having trouble completing their housework.
Disorientation or bizarre behavior:
If you notice unusual behavior from an elderly individual, do not ignore it. It could be the result of a health condition or possibly over or under medication.
If you notice any of these warning signs, you may want to investigate the situation to determine if some sort of intervention is needed. Be aware that each individual may respond differently to your desire to help. Try to be gentle and compassionate when talking with them about your concerns. You will want to prepare a number of care options for the elderly individual so he or she will know what options are available. It may take several tries before they start to accept your help.
For more information
Call us at (800) 927-0716 or email us. We will help guide you through health care planning.