If you will be visiting senior loved ones this holiday season, there are some things you should look out for to ensure that they are living as safely as possible. Following are some signs to look for to help you know if it's time to consider more specialized senior care. Keeping them safe is paramount, so keep these things in mind as you visit during the upcoming holidays!
10 Signs More Specialized Senior Care May Be Needed
If you see a couple of these signs on a regular basis, it might be time to consider a senior living community that offers more security, safety, and aid in many areas, all while keeping the senior feeling as independent as possible. These communities also offer a wide range of wellness activities, exercise classes, a variety of hobbies, and even day trips to get out and explore.
1. Personal Care and Hygiene. Personal appearance may be an early sign that your loved one may be struggling with self-care. Pay attention to make sure they are choosing the right clothing for the time of year or even the time of day. Also, if you notice hygiene habits slipping, that could be an indicator of difficulty with personal care.
2. Social Life. If you notice that your senior loved one who is normally very social has become withdrawn, it may be time to think about making a transition to senior care. Perhaps it's just a problem with transportation, or maybe they have lost interest in a favorite pastime. Either way, it's worth investigating.
3. Depression. We all get down or have a case of the blues from time to time, but if you notice your loved one feeling this way for months on end, you should pay attention. Senior adults often struggle with depression, especially if they live alone. Are they sleeping a lot or tired all the time? Perhaps carrying on a normal conversation doesn’t seem interesting to them. It could be time to make an appointment with their primary care doctor and talk about it.
4. Falls. If your loved one has fallen more than once or struggles with their balance, you should definitely consider more specialized senior care. Their home may not be the safest place for them! The leading cause of injuries among seniors, both fatal and non-fatal, is falling.
5. Accidents. It can be difficult to consider safety behind the wheel, but if you notice small accidents like bumping into a garage door or curb, you might want to consider whether your senior loved one should continue driving. Our reflexes slow down as we age and our vision is less sharp. These are both reasons why driving should always be the main concern for safety.
6. Keeping House. If you have a parent who has always had a neat and clean house, then it would be easy to tell if they are struggling with that. If you notice piled up laundry or trash that needs to be taken out, you might want to investigate further. A dirty house can also pose health risks, so just be mindful.
7. Finances. Is your aging parent or family member able to manage their money the same way they have in the past? If you notice calls from bill collectors or stacks of unopened bills, it may be a sign that they need help managing their finances. They may even try to pay one bill twice while neglecting another.
8. Scams. Scam artists are known to go after senior citizens because they make easy and vulnerable targets. Being lonely often leads them to talk on the phone with scammers who come across as nice people and this causes them to fall into the trap of giving away their sensitive financial information. This can lead to terrible losses due to fake sweepstakes or identity theft. This type of criminal activity is often hard to catch and even harder to get justice once a crime has been committed.
9. Dietary Habits. When you are with your senior loved one this Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, take a look-see around their fridge and pantry. Are the food items out of date? Is their diet healthy with fresh food? More senior care may be needed if they are not eating properly.
10. Medication Management. Pay attention to how your loved one is taking medications. If you notice they are forgetting to take it or perhaps taking too much, that is a sign that intervention is needed. This is the leading cause for senior citizens being in the Emergency Room each year--medication management problems. It should not be overlooked!
If you've noticed any combination of these behaviors in a senior you love, it might be time to consider whether you or a relative can help your loved one or whether it’s time to hire a professional home care agency. These decisions can be tough but they don't have to be traumatizing for either the senior or the adult child. For more information, contact us today!
Home Helpers of Greater Milwaukee is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care as well as homemaker services in Milwaukee, Mequon, Fox Point, Bayside, River Hills, Whitefish Bay, Cedarburg, Germantown, Grafton, Menomonee Falls, Brown Deer, Port Washington, Wauwatosa, West Bend, Hartford, Sussex, West Allis, Butler, Colgate, Fredonia, Greendale, Hales Corners, Saukville, Slinger, Richfield, Jackson, Thiensville, and Hubertus.