5 Signs your loved one might need some extra help
It's unsurprising that many elderly people who require care wish to remain in the comfort of their own homes. Living at home provides the security of a familiar setting and allows for the continuation of independence.
However, most find it tricky to admit when they need a bit of additional help. It often falls on family members to identify when a loved one might benefit from some extra assistance in the home. What are the signs you should be looking out for?
1. Unkempt appearance
A change in appearance is sometimes due to an individual’s inability to care properly for themselves. Examples of this include difficulty showering regularly, brushing their hair, or washing their clothes due to mobility or balance issues. In some instances, it is not a lack of coordination that is the problem, but rather certain disorders like depression or the onset of dementia.
2. An uncharacteristically untidy house
We aren't all 'tidy people'. However, there's a mess and there's a mess. If you notice a drastic change in the state of your parents’ home, this could be cause for concern. If laundry is piling up and there are dirty dishes in the sink, it might be time to gently ask if they're coping.
3. Declining general health
Has your loved one missed several important doctor appointments due to the inability to remember the appointment? Have they forgotten to take their daily medication? Look for prescription bottles that are full of bottles that have not been refilled. You will similarly want to watch out for any conditions that have gotten noticeably worse over time. These ailments can range from minor cuts that look infected to a lingering cough or limp.
4. Withdrawal from hobbies
Is the family dog's walking routine being neglected? Has your father stopped going to church for the first time in his life? If you notice that your loved one has withdrawn from their normal activities, you will want to determine the reason for it. In some cases, withdrawal from favourite activities is caused by mobility issues. In other instances, it can be associated with depression or another illness.
5. Poor Nutrition
While proper nutrition is important at all stages of life, it's crucial during later years. Poor nutrition often begins following the death of a spouse or partner, as preparing meals for one can seem like too much of a 'faff'. Common signs that your loved one may not be receiving the nutrition they need to include weight gain or loss, an empty pantry or refrigerator, or general weakness and declining health.