6 Signs a Senior Needs Assisted Living

  • December 27, 2018

The holidays are often a time when adult children and long-distance caregivers travel home to celebrate the season. Depending on how far away you live, it might be your first opportunity for a visit with your senior loved one in many months. These visits can provide family members with a good opportunity to evaluate their loved one’s safety, health, and well-being. 

If you find yourself wondering how to objectively assess a senior’s situation, we have a few tips you will find helpful.

6 Signs That May Indicate a Senior Needs More Help

  1. Unintended change in weight: If your loved one has unintentionally gained or lost a noticeable amount of weight, it might be the sign of a problem. Depression, diabetes, dementia, and gastrointestinal problems are all issues that can cause weight loss or weight gain. Each needs medical intervention. A senior might also gain or lose weight as a result of arthritis or a mobility problem that makes grocery shopping and cooking difficult.
  2. Decline in personal appearance: Is there a change in your senior loved one’s appearance? Sometimes a senior is afraid to climb in and out of an old bath tub for fear of falling. Neck or back pain might make it hard to comb their hair or put on makeup. A hug is an easy way to detect hygiene changes.
  3. Unpaid bills stacked up: A common sign that a senior needs help managing finances is a stack of unopened mail on the counter. While younger generations might pay bills online, many older adults still prefer to write checks. If their mail isn’t being opened, important bills might be going unpaid. 
  4. Unsteady on their feet: Balance problems make it tough for a senior to live independently, especially in an older home. It increases their risk for a debilitating fall. Pay close attention to how well your loved one does climbing stairs, rising from a chair, and getting in and out of bed. Also watch to see if they are more sedentary than usual. That may be a sign they are afraid of falling and are limiting their activity.
  5. Change in disposition: Has an always-sunny parent become withdrawn or agitated? A change in disposition can be a sign of health issues ranging from depression to dementia. Ask your parent how often they socialize with others and if they are still participating in their favorite activities, such as volunteer work or attending religious services. 
  6. Unkempt home environment: Piles of laundry, an overflowing trash can, and expired foods in the refrigerator can all be signs that a senior is struggling to maintain their home. Another red flag is scorched cookware. It may indicate that your aging parent is leaving the kitchen and forgetting something is cooking on the stovetop. That puts them at serious risk for a fire.

If the older adult in your life is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to learn what is behind the change. Talk through things together and explore options for resolving their challenges.

Should your discussion lead to a decision to investigate senior living communities, we hope you will consider Five Star. Call us today at (617) 796-8387 to schedule a time to visit at your convenience!
 


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51 Warning Signs

51 Warning Signs

As you care for your aging loved ones, learn how to spot unusual behaviors ranging from poor nutrition to depression.

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