Modern medical techniques mean that more Americans are living into advanced ages. While this is a good thing, it does leave the families of the aged with the dilemma of figuring out when the seniors they care about are in need of assistance in their homes.
It is very difficult for most people to admit that they have reached a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves. You cannot always rely on your loved one to come to you and tell you they are in need of assistance.
This is especially true if the person you are worried about is your parent. No parent wants to admit to their child that it is time for the roles to be reversed.
This leaves you, the child or caretaker, in the uncomfortable position of trying to decide on your own when the time is right for the senior in your life to receive home care. Keep your eyes open for these 8 warning signs that a senior citizen is no longer completely capable of caring for themselves.
Signs To Look For
- Poor hygiene. Keep your eyes peeled for changes in grooming habits, or the appearance of no grooming at all, such as soiled clothing, mussed hair, dirty hands.
- Unexplained bruising. Bruising on the arms or legs may mean that the person in question can not see well enough to avoid running into things. Bruises on the torso may be the result of a fall, a particularly dangerous event for an elderly person.
- Spoiled foods, messy house, piled up mail. All of these are warning signs that the senior is either becoming confused and forgets to take care of these things or that they simply do not have the energy to keep up with the house work.
- Medication signals. A person in the early stages of dementia may forget to take their medications entirely or, perhaps more dangerous, forget that they have already taken them and take them a second time. Keep your eyes open for medication that disappears too quickly or not quickly enough.
- Physical weakness. Look for trouble getting up from a sitting position, poor balance, shortness of breath after walking and trouble negotiating the stairs.
- Confusion, getting lost. Watch for signs that your loved one has trouble finishing familiar tasks or has trouble finding their way to or from places they visit regularly.
- Weight loss. This can be a symptom of many diseases or illnesses or it may be a sign that the aged person is forgets to eat or does not have the strength to fix themselves meals.
- Depression. Often manifested as changes in mood or lack of interest in hobbies.
It can be challenging to convince an aged loved one that it is time to have home care services, especially since they are unlikely to admit it on their own. Keep your eyes open for the warning signs that the person you care for and about is in need of more help.