If you will be paying a visit to a senior loved one you haven’t seen in a while during this holiday season, you might be surprised by what you find. Adult children and close family members tend to be on guard for big signs that their senior loved one is struggling.
But it isn’t always a fall or a serious illness that makes a move to an assisted living community necessary. Sometimes there are many small warning signs that add up to big trouble.
Here are 7 of the most common warning signs you should look for when you head home for the holidays.
7 Warning Signs an Older Adult Needs Assisted Living
- Change in Personal Care & Hygiene: Do you see a difference in how well your loved one is managing their personal hygiene? Are they wearing clothing that isn’t appropriate for the time of day or the season of the year? If a normally well-kept senior looks a little more disheveled it can be a sign they are struggling.
- Medication Mismanagement: Mistakes with medicine are one of the leading reasons older adults are sent to hospital emergency rooms every day. The more medications they take, the higher the risk they will make a mistake. When you are visiting your senior loved one, you can check to see how well they are managing their medication by counting the number of pills left in their bottles. Then compare the number to the date and number of pills prescribed. If you find there are too many or too few left, it can be sign they aren’t on track with their medication schedule.
- Housekeeping & Maintenance Neglected: Are you noticing a change in how well your senior is managing housekeeping and maintenance tasks around their home? Is laundry piled up? Are bad odors present in the home? Do more than a few light bulbs need to be changed? These are signs that can indicate a senior is having trouble keeping up.
- Change in Weight: Poor nutrition is more common among older adults. It can lead to an unintended weight gain or weight loss. This occurs for reasons ranging from trouble with meal preparation to difficulty finding reliable transportation to and from the grocery store. Examine your loved one’s freezer, refrigerator and pantry to see what types of foods make up their daily diet.
- Withdrawing from Activities: Seniors who live alone are at higher risk for becoming isolated. This makes them more likely to experience health issues ranging from depression to obesity. If the older adult you love has dropped out of their favorite volunteer projects, no longer attends their cherished religious services or if they have lost interest in participating in events with friends and family, it can be a sign they need help.
- Mismanaging Finances: Problems managing and maintaining finances are an early clue that a senior is struggling. It can also be one of the earliest warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Are unopened bills piled up on your loved one’s counter? Are creditors calling about past due bills? Are they spending a lot of money on home shopping channels or online stores? These can all be signs the senior you love needs support.
- Balance Problems: Finally we come to problems with balance. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among adults over the age of 65. Older homes can often be a contributing factor. Unlike a senior housing community, many houses aren’t designed to support the needs of seniors. If your loved one is experiencing falls or near falls that are causing bumps and bruises, their home may not be a safe location any longer.
Help Finding Assisted Living in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex
If more than one or two of these warning signs can be used to describe your parent or another aging loved one, it may be time to explore senior living options. Our experienced, local care advisors will be happy to help.
Senior Living Specialists is a free service for older adults and their families. We are compensated by a referral fee when a senior moves into a community or care home. Call us today at 214-929-5055 to get started!