Recognizing the Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Help | Five Star
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Recognizing the Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Help

April 9, 2015

Recognizing the Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Help

The caregivers at our Five Star Senior Living communities are often asked by adult children how they will know when it is time to encourage their loved one to move to an independent or assisted living community. Family members are often the ones who initiate a move to a senior living community. Many older adults are reluctant to leave their home or even allow a professional caregiver in to provide assistance. When safety and security become concerns, however, adult children are often forced to tackle the issue.

What should you look for to determine if the time has come for that conversation? Here are a few warning signs we typically share with families when they ask us for advice.

Warning Signs to Look for in an Aging Loved One

  • Falls: Have they experience any recent falls or close calls? Do they seem to be having difficulty walking or are they unsteady on their feet? Falls are the number one cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among seniors.
  • Housekeeping: Has a parent let housekeeping duties slide? If an always tidy parent now resides a messy or dirty house, it might be a sign they need help.
  • Personal Appearance: Along those same lines, how is their personal appearance and hygiene? Are they wearing clothing for the wrong season? Have they let their personal appearance go? These are likely signs they are struggling.
  • Finances: Are they safely maintaining their personal finances? Are bills and mail stacked up unopened or are they paying one bill twice while neglecting another? These are early indicators that more support is needed.
  • Nutrition: Has your loved one unintentionally lost or gained weight? Is their refrigerator filled with out-of-date foods? Is their trash can full of fast food bags and wrappers? Poor nutrition is another sign it may be time for a senior loved one to make a change.
  • Medication Management: Has your senior made mistakes with medications? It might be they are forgetting to take medicines or taking them twice. Either way, mismanaging medications can have life-threatening consequences.

If more than one or two of these sound a little too familiar, it might be time to talk with your senior loved one about the next step.

Adult children sometimes prefer to visit a few assisted living communities on their own and then share the information with an aging parent. Should you decide to go that route, we invite you to contact the Five Star Senior Living community nearest you to arrange a time for a personal visit and tour.