Signs Your Senior Loved One Needs Help
Admitting that you need help can be difficult for anyone, particularly for seniors. If you have an elderly loved one in your life, then you need to be on the lookout for signs that they are in need of help with completing their daily tasks. There are many seniors who find that with time, they start to need a little support in getting through their day-to-day responsibilities. This is a very normal part of aging for many seniors. However, many seniors are unable to recognize these signs on their own. This is why they need the help of a family member or loved one to step in and recognize they need some help.
Here are some of the most recognizable signs that a senior living on their own needs a little additional support.
- Neglecting their personal hygiene. This can include infrequent bathing, unpleasant body odor or failing to keep up with their personal grooming habits.
- Increase in incontinence issues. One of the major signs that seniors need help has to do with incontinence. If you have noticed a strong smell or urine in the house or on your loved one’s clothes, there may be a problem.
- Failing to attend to household responsibilities. If your loved one has a dirty home, extreme clutter, has laundry piling up, this may be a sign of a problem.
- Issues with food. If you have noticed there is little or no fresh food in the fridge, or that your loved one has spoiled food that isn’t getting thrown away, this is a sign they may need help.
- Failing to address their mail. This can include stacks of unopened mail, overflowing mailboxes or late payment notices.
- Changes in physical health. This includes your loved one losing or gaining weight for no reason, has difficulty getting up, struggles to walk or has an unexplained bruise or injury.
- Changes in personality. If your loved one’s mental health seems to be changing, if they are sleeping for most of the day, experiencing changes in mood or have uncertainty or confusion when performing familiar tasks, it is often a sign they need help.
These signs don’t necessarily mean your loved one needs to go to a nursing home or assisted living community. However, it may be a sign that you need to consider part-time, occasional or at-home care. Some families may even choose to step in themselves and either help their loved one or move them in to their own homes.
What is most important is that you are able to recognize the signs that your loved one needs help in the first place so you can step in and help them improve their quality of life and make sure they get the support they need.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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