Aging is a tough process for everyone involved. The person who is aging likely does not want to lose their autonomy and is simultaneously feeling like they do not want to bug family members for help. Family members on the other hand want to help their elderly family members but do not want to overstep and hurt their feelings. Here are some signs to look for to tell if your loved one needs extra assistance.
It is important to note that some people have a significant event in their life such as a stroke or a fall and require additional assistance. Although, when a significant event does not happen, it can be more difficult to discern when a loved one needs help.
When visiting your loved one, be sure to monitor their physical appearance. If they are having balance problems or you notice that their weight appears to be fluctuating, they may need assistance. Additionally, unexplained bumps or bruises on the legs and arms, and bad hygiene can be an indicator that your loved one needs help with daily life. Lastly, ask about their sleep schedule. Changes in sleep often indicate that it is time to seek help for them.
Life at Home
Is your loved one keeping up with their daily chores? When loved ones need help, things like yard work tend to fall to the wayside. Additionally, the home will have an overall appearance of being un-kept. This may look like excessive clutter, unusual odors, or unusual carpet stains. Other signs to look out for include failure to turn off things like the stove or water after use.
It is important to keep a close eye on aging loved ones’ emotions. If they are having mood swings, a lack of motivation is uncharacteristically non-social or being verbally abusive, they may need help.
Confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, and repetition should all be red flags in your mind if you are seeing your family member demonstrate them. Other things to watch out for include unpaid bills, unfilled prescriptions, and dents or scratches on their car. Be sure to monitor loved ones closely and watch for patterns in their behavior that may indicate they require assistance.