Article Posted: 04/25/2008
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Warning Signs
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How do I know when my aging loved one needs assistance?



  Difficulty walking

  Frequently falling or unsteadiness (presence of bruising)

  Poor hygiene or grooming (wearing stained clothes, body odor, infrequent bathing or washing hair, wearing the same clothes day after day)

  Changes in eating habits (snacks only, decreased appetite, eating one meal a day, forgetting to eat, poor food choices, lack of food in the home)


  Unsafe home environment (unclean,  cluttered walkways, poor lighting, home needing repairs, broken or missing smoke detectors, lack of security-leaving doors unlocked, leaving stove on)

  Significant weight loss or gain

  Chronic pain

   Substance abuse

  Desire for alternative living arrangements



  Unpaid and past due bills (especially home insurance, utilities, home mortgage)

  Unopened mail

♥ Unable to manage checkbook

  Unable to deal with money properly

  Victimized by scams or financial abuse

   Inability to pay for long-term care or health care




   Poor or decreased judgment

   Difficulty coordinating or monitoring different medications

  Paranoia and forgetfulness

  Wanders off and can’t find their way back home

  Leaving stove on, unplugging refrigerator

  Little or no recognition of friends or family members

  Forgetting to take medications, or taking it improperly

  Increasingly forgetful (missed doctor's appointments, family events, forgetting names, word

finding difficulties, frequently losing things or placing things in unusual places)

  Frequent repetition, physical/verbal abuse

   Delusions or hallucinations (perception of objects or events that others don’t see, holding false beliefs)

   Calling children repeatedly at inappropriate hours of day or night




  Mood changes  (anger, suspicion, paranoia, agitated)

  Depression or loneliness   (crying, sadness, lack of energy, increase or decrease in sleeping and/or appetite, feeling hopeless)

  Lack of interest in formerly enjoyable activities (isolating, stopped participating in social, church or volunteer activities)?



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