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February 27, 2023
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It can be difficult to tell when your loved one can no longer live alone safely. There may have been occasional signs that this was the case, signs that may have been overlooked for years or dismissed as clumsiness or simple forgetfulness. It’s not unusual for family members to deny that a problem exists if it means admitting that a much-loved elderly relative is succumbing to the effects of old age. Sometimes, seniors are able to mask their decline by laughing off its symptoms or becoming angry and refusing to discuss the situation.
Ultimately, the risk must outweigh your loved one’s fear of losing independence. To deny the problem is to risk serious injury as a result of physical weakness or mental incapacity. It’s important to recognize the signs and accept that a worsened mental or physical condition must be dealt with. The following are some signs that your loved one may need live-in help.
Keeping a close eye on an elderly family member may reveal unexplained cuts or bruises, signs of falls that are serious enough to cause damage. It’s essential to take action when falls become a common occurrence because just one can do significant, even life-threatening, damage. If they’re taking place in the course of normal household activity, it’s a sign that medical attention is needed and that a caregiver should be present on a daily basis.
The consequence of a bad fall can be devastating, and may require your loved one to have round-the-clock care in a nursing home. It’s worth taking a preliminary look at potential facilities as your loved one ages. You don’t want to have to find and choose one under duress.
Weight Loss and Poor Hygiene
A dramatic drop in weight and neglected hygiene are warning signs that depression and disorientation have taken hold. A gradual weakening can make it very difficult to go shopping for food, bring it home, and prepare meals. Failing to perform basic hygiene tasks can mean that normal activities of daily living have become too difficult. If that is the case, a caregiver’s help is definitely needed.
Bills Left Unpaid
Cognitive decline can manifest in many ways, from short-term memory loss to an inability to recognize close acquaintances. Leaving a bill unpaid may be a simple oversight or an effect of stress. Missing multiple bills or having a utility or cable TV shut off is a clear indication that something is wrong and that assistance is needed. It’s a serious situation that requires a rapid response.
A Messy House
You would expect something to be seriously wrong if a family member who’s always kept a tidy house suddenly allows it to fall into disrepair. A few articles of clothing left lying around is one thing; dog urine left uncleaned or stacks of dirty plates left in the sink is considerably more troubling. It’s a sign that your loved one is incapable of performing basic household duties.
Failing to follow instructions concerning medications can be a serious problem. It’s important for your loved one to follow all instructions, such as frequency, dosage, and special instructions, in order to get the full benefit. An elderly adult suffering from dementia can easily get confused and take too much, which could be life-threatening. Medication management is an area in which a caregiver can be especially helpful by keeping track of each dose and the care subject’s use.
Caring for a Senior with Mobility Issues
If you are caring for a loved one with mobility problems, there are a number of steps you can take to help manage the situation. Try keeping your loved one active as much as possible by encouraging walks or some simple stretching exercises that will keep muscles loose and flexible. Institute a healthy diet to help restore any unhealthy weight loss and build muscle mass. Eliminate the possibility of falls by placing a rubber mat in the bathtub or shower and having grab rails installed next to the toilet.
When it comes to caring for a senior loved one with mobility issues, choosing appropriate clothing is key. It's important to select pieces that are not only comfortable and easy to move in but also fashionable and stylish. Look for clothing made from soft, breathable fabrics that won't irritate the skin or restrict movement. And don't be afraid to add some fun accessories like scarves or hats to spice up your look!
It’s important to take quick action when an elderly loved one shows clear signs of physical or mental incapacity. If no family member is able to help on a daily basis, consider hiring a professional caregiver, someone with experience and knowledge in protecting seniors from suffering injury.
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