11 Warning signs that an older adult needs help

Almost every one of us wants to remain living independently in our home for our entire life.  At some point, most older adults will need help to allow them to feel safe and happy in their home.  Caregivers often ask what are some warning signs that it is time for your loved on to get help.

There are many warning signs that will let you know it may be time to offer assistance to your aging loved one:

1. Unopened mail or unpaid bills piling up
2. Plants not watered
3. Trash not taken out
4. Clutter around the house more than usual
5. Clothes are dirty
6. Personal hygiene has declined
7. Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
8. Declining memory
9. Difficulty walking or increasing incidence of falling
10. Decreased judgment
11. Isolation

If your older loved one has one or more of these signs, you may want to talk to a professional about assessing the situation and discussing what type of care is needed.  Geriatric care managers do just that.  The eldercare directory on www.AgingPro.com offers a national searchable database of professional geriatric care managers. Just type in the zip code of your loved one and find the nearest resources.  The Caregiving 101 article also gives practical information for all stages of caregiving.

Patiently and lovingly talking with your loved one is a good approach.  Most older adults deny that they need help, “I’ve been doing this by myself for 85 years, why do I need help now!”  It is true that they have been doing fine for 85 years, but as we age, we frequently need help to continue to have the best quality of life, and to be safe.

What warning signs have you seen in your loved ones that made you know/wonder if it was time they needed help?  Share your experience here with other agingpro readers.

Thanks!

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