How do I know when it is time to get help for an elderly love one?

There are a variety of reason why this is the case, but many aging seniors do not willingly tell a family member that they are in need of help. Too often, aging seniors do not get the help they need when they need it, which can culminate into a traumatic incident -- such as a stroke, serious fall or loss of memory in a dangerous situation – which acts as a wake-up call for the entire family.

For adult children, it can be difficult to anticipate when the right time is to get help for your parent. There are a number of signs that indicate it might be time to get help for an aging family member, including changes to one’s health, diet, mood, appearance or hygiene.

Events that may signal that your loved one needs help include:

  • Frequent falls, with or without injury
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Difficulty performing routine activities of daily living
  • Problems coordinating medical care
  • Regular emergency room or hospital visits
  • Failure to take medications as prescribed
  • Confusion, forgetfulness, anxiety or depression
  • Refusal to bathe, wash clothing or clean the house
  • Problems paying bills or completing paperwork
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Appears isolated or refuses to leave the house
  • Experiences deteriorating relationships with others
  • Calls frequently about the same issues

Other Resources

AgingCare.com - There is a lot of great information on this website, including articles targeted specifically towards this issue of knowing when to get help. Click here for one of those articles.

CarePathways.com - This website has a lot of information sourced from nurses in search of providing quality care for families. Click here for an article concerning the 10 Tell-tale Signs that your parents need help.

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