Many families will be faced with the decision of needing care very rapidly, as in the case of a broken hip, but not all changes are so rapid. When an aging loved one starts to show signs of needing care, it can be highly variable and sometimes difficult to determine when that stage has come. Below are some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate that some more assistance is needed, however you decide to obtain that care.
- Difficulty walking – The senior might be unsteady when standing.
- Recent fall(s) – One of the most common aging problems is falling. A fall can be caused by difficulty walking, lack of stamina, poor vision, improper use of a cane and walkers, and improper lighting in washrooms. It’s often a sign that the home might need safety checks to make it more senior friendly. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Poor grooming and personal hygiene: Soiled clothing and poor personal hygiene are often warning signs that the senior might need toileting help.
- Loss of appetite: Changes in eating and cooking habits need to be paid special attention. Lack of nutrition can lead to a variety of more serious problems and might itself be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
- Spoiled or expired food in the fridge: Lack of nutritious food in the home is often a sign that the senior is having difficulties going to get groceries.
- Diminished driving skills: Recent accidents or near misses are often a sign of diminishing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This needs to be taken very seriously as it can put the senior and other drivers/pedestrians on the road at risk of serious injuries.
- Loss of interest in activities: Reluctance to socialize, persistent fatigue and lack of energy can point to other underlying issues or depression.
- Memory loss and confusion: Usually a sign of early stages of dementia and should be evaluated by a physician.
- Mishandled medication(s): Missing medications or mixing up medications can lead to more serious problems. According to medication compliance statistics released by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA).
- Overdue Bills: If you notice past due bills, unopened mail or mishandled finances, these can also be a warning sign of memory loss or confusion.
- Poor housekeeping and home maintenance: This can be a sign of fatigue or lack of energy. It can also create unsafe conditions leading to slips and falls and needs to be addressed quickly.
If you are seeing health changes in an aging loved one, or they show some of the signs and symptoms that more assistance is needed, reach out to us to understand the options available that will suit your family. You can call us 24/7 at 1-800-85MAVEN.
- Public Health Agency of Canada - The Facts - Seniors and Injuries in Canada
- CDC - Medication Adherence