I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends this year! Question: Did you happen to notice any changes in your elders since the last time you gathered together? Perhaps, their appetite was not the same, or they seemed especially cautious when walking or holding a conversation?
Even subtle changes could be indicative of a senior in need of assistance. One of my resources, aPlaceforMom, has made it easier for us to notice senior needs with a comprehensive list of scenarios that could be indicative of trouble ahead.
- Financial woes. If your senior loved one is keeping up with their bills and making payments on time, no red flags here. However, if checks are bouncing and collectors are calling, this is a serious reason for concern.
- Home maintenance issues. If your senior loved one has stopped cooking or maintaining a regular meal schedule because their kitchen appliances don’t work or are in poor condition, there may be a reason for concern. It’s important to check appliances, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as light bulbs when visiting to make sure things are operating as they should. Furthermore, a cluttered, dirty, or disorganized house and unattended yard that are not the norm for your beloved senior, a caregiver can help with homemaker services and oversee service providers, like a lawn service.
- Mood swings. Changes in mood or extreme mood swingsmay signal something is wrong. Does your special senior someone behave differently toward you, friends, or even strangers? Noticeable mood swings could be a result of personal problems, physical challenges, medications or something else. A visit to their doctor is probably warranted.
- Mental health issues. We’ve all had those days when we don’t feel especially upbeat, but if a senior is demonstrating feelings of depression, or they lack energy for activities of daily living, talk to them and see if they need to consider professional help. Ask yourself: Has your senior loved one’s demeanor noticeably changed? Do they smile or laugh like they used to?
- Confusion and uncertainty. If you notice your senior loved one is experiencing confusion or uncertainty when performing specific tasks that used to be second-nature to them, this can be a red flag of a senior in need of help. Caregivers provide companion care to keep seniors company when they live alone, keep them engaged in meaningful conversation, and keep them socially active, as much as possible.
- Appearance matters. Pay attention to how your senior loved one is dressing and their overall personal hygiene. If they are wearing clothing that is dirty, worn with holes or are generally disheveled; or they have bad breath and body odor, they may need some level of personal care assistance.
- Notice weight loss. When you gather with senior loved ones, take notice of weight loss and their appetite. Are they consuming less at meal time? Observe their overall eating habits in case they are neglecting nutritional foods for sweets, processed foods, fast foods or snacks. A compassionate caregiver can help with grocery shopping, as well as nutritional meal planning and preparation to make sure they get the valuable nutrition they need.
- Frequent forgetfulness. If you notice your senior loved one is more forgetful than normal, or they are misplacing their keys, wallet or other important items more frequently, it may be time for a medical consultation and in-home care services to keep items better organized and prevent missed appointments or medications.
- Medication management. Improper medication management can lead to all kinds of problems.
Are there full bottles of prescription pills in medicine cabinets? A daily pill organizer for morning and evening medications can help prevent medication mismanagement, so your senior loved one does not take too much or too little of their prescriptions. An in-home caregiver can assist with gentle reminders to keep seniors on schedule with their meds.
- Social isolation. Is your senior loved one staying isolated more and more, or they have lost interest in activities and hobbies they once enjoyed, there may be physical or mental health issues to address. A Home Helpers® caregiver can provide engagement and get them out of the house for better physical and mental health.
- Physical limitations. If you notice your senior loved one is having difficulties standing from a seated position; they struggle to walk or sit, they may need some help with activities of daily living, or ambulation devices for better stabilization when walking, sitting or standing. Additionally, if you see more injuries or bruising, cuts or scratches, it’s worth investigating the causes. A Home Helpers® compassionate caregiver can always lend a helping hand of support!
- Accidents happen. Take a peek at your senior loved one’s vehicle. If you see dents and car damage that have gone unexplained, it is best to discuss their accident history and determine why auto accidents are happening. If they are experiencing visual impairment, diminished hearing, they are more distracted or simply not paying attention, the time may have arrived to have that dreaded discussion about retiring from driving, and let a caregiver or ride-share service help with transportation assistance.
A perfectly-matched caregiver can assist with most all of these needs and more to keep your special senior someone happy, healthy, safe and independent. If any of these care services would be of benefit to you or your senior loved one, I gladly offer a FREE Consultation to identify and discuss the specific needs and create a personalized care plan to help make life a little easier for you or your senior loved one.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for the fifth consecutive year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539