Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~How to Tell When Your Loved One Needs Help

Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~How to Tell When Your Loved One Needs Help

Most older adults wish to remain independent and in control of their own lives for as long as possible. Today we will suggest ways that caregivers can help aging family members remain relatively independent, as long as the person’s safety is not at risk, by making an astute observation, asking revealing questions, and paying attention to telltale signs that their elder may need extra assistance.

If you suspect your older family member is losing the ability to perform basic physical and mental tasks, knowing what to look for will help you determine whether he or she needs immediate assistance..

Know What To Look For

  • Basis Tasks – difficulty in walking, dressing, talking, eating, cooking, climbing steps, or managing medications
  • Hygiene – infrequent bathing, unusually sloppy appearance, foul body odor and/or mouth odor
  • Responsibilities – mail is unopened, paper are piled up, checkbook is unreadable, bills are unpaid, bank account overdraft notices are accumulating, prescriptions are unfilled, phone calls aren’t returned, cooking pots and pans burned, refrigerator interior has foul odor, food supply is love, home interior and/or exterior is unkempt, laundry is piling up, automobile has new dents.
  • Health – weight loss, changes in appetite, problems swallowing, fatigue, burns, black and blue marks, hearing loss, seems withdrawn without reason, incontinence, spilling and dropping things, complains of muscle weakness, insomnia or excessive sleeping, dehydration.
  • Isolation – lack of interest in outside friendships, activities, or hobbies, keeps curtains drawn day and night, has little access to transportation, lives in another city or state and lives alone.
  • Attitude – sadness, display of verbal or physical abuse, talk of being depressed and feelings of despair, abuse of alcohol or drugs, paranoia, refusal to communication, unusual argumentativeness, a recent emotional or medical crisis.
  • Cognitive Functions – consistent forgetfulness about where things are, getting lost while walking or driving, confusion, loss of reasoning skills, difficulty answering questions, inability to find the right word, use of repetitive words or phrases, severe personality changes, wandering, inability to recall names of familiar people or objects, inability to complete a sentence, forgetting how to use simple, ordinary things such as a pencil, forgetting to close windows, turn off the store, and lock doors, loss of sense of time.

If any of these warning signs are present, and you are beginning to question your aging loves one’s ability to make good choices and decisions, ElderCare at Home can help. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at (561) 585-0400.

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