What are some signs that your loved one may be becoming more vulnerable and requires more assistance? Here are the top 10 things to look for:
- Safety concerns: Falls or near falls are the most serious warning sign. Watch for bruises or other signs, since seniors might be too embarrassed to share the occurrence with loved ones
- Incontinence: Accidents are another serious sign. Again, seniors might not share the occurrence and loved ones should stay vigilant (for example, stained clothing or furniture)
- Changes in physical appearance: Sudden weight loss or unkempt appearance could indicate a struggle to take care of themself (for example, shopping, meal preparation, eating, dressing)
- Decline in hygiene: Bad breath, body odor, or dandruff are potential signs that a senior is struggling to remember or complete lifelong hygiene habits
- Decline in home cleanliness: A senior challenged by ordinary tasks may struggle to keep their home as neat and tidy as they used to
- Changes in behavior or mood: Confusion, forgetfulness (particularly with medications or appointments), aggression (driven by frustration), or mood swings (for example, visible anxiety or agitation) could indicate a senior is experiencing cognitive decline or struggling with mental health
- Social withdrawal: No longer socializing might reveal a senior feeling isolated or depressed
- Reduced activity: Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies could reveal difficulty organizing/planning or stem from social withdrawal
- Missed bills: Mail piling up might suggest a senior struggling to keep up on their own
- Difficulty with daily tasks: In addition to the above examples: showering, cooking, cleaning, getting in/out of bed or a chair
If you notice any of these signs or concerns, it may be time to step in and get help for your aging loved one. This could involve reaching out to healthcare professionals, hiring a caregiver or home health aide, or considering assisted living or other options. It’s important to prioritize your loved one’s safety and well-being while respecting their autonomy and independence as much as possible.
If you or a loved one are looking for in-home care services such as personal or companion care, please contact Hallmark Homecare for more information. We specialize in recruiting and matching professional caregivers with clients on a direct-hire basis, creating a win-win-win outcome for caregivers, clients, and their families.