Community Blog

Noticing the Need for Care

By Susan Chiang

Noticing the Need for Care

People tend to approach aging/illness the way they approach life (e.g., acceptance or denial, proactive or reactive, analytical vs. emotional). Often it is easier for people to think everything is okay then to discover it’s not.

All too often people make decisions based on what they think or believe instead of what they know.

Assessments can be helpful and they support informed decision making.

Here are four easy steps that can be used to determine if someone may need more help living independently at home.

  1. Physical appearance

How is your loved ones’ personal hygiene? Do you notice any significant weight gain or loss? How is their home—consistent with how they have always maintained their living space?

  1. Memory

Is your loved one remembering things accurately?

Is your senior alert and actively involved in conversations?

  1. Motor skills

Do you notice your loved one struggling with tasks that are usually simple to execute? How is their balance? Are you aware of any falls?

  1. Mood

Does your loved one seem happy? Do you notice any drastic mood swings? Do they have enough interaction with others to keep them happy and engaged?

If you are noticing the need, it may be time to get a professional’s opinion. Start the conversation with your loved one. Help them by acknowledging potential concerns, but do so over time so you can predispose them and help avoid any future shock.