10 Signs That Your Aging Loved One Needs Help part 1

What if a loved one was in need of help as they aged?  Do you think you would be able to recognize the signs?  Here are 5 signs to look for that could mean your elderly relative needs help at home.

  1. Recent Falls

 Did you know that 1 in 3 adults age 65 or older falls each year.  Of those who fall, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to live independently.  Staying active and exercising can help minimize the risk of falls.  Recent falls can be a sign of deteriorating health, which would be a sign that your elderly loved one needs assistance.
  1. Forgetting Medication and Appointments

The more medication an older adult takes, the more likely they are to forget a dose, or over medicate.   In 2000 the average number of prescriptions an elderly adult took was 28.5. In  2010 the average number of prescriptions per elderly person grew to 38.5, an increase of 10 prescriptions.   Whether your loved one uses a pill box to keep track of medication, it is important to pay attention to pills that are still in the box or that haven’t been touched for days.  The consequences of forgetting these meds include disease progression or complications, increased physicians’ visits or even hospitalization.

  1. Dents in the Car, Trash Cans, Fences or Garage

If you notice dents or scratches on the car your loved one is driving, or maybe the mailbox has some dings, chances are your elderly family member is having trouble behind the wheel, which could mean other issues.  Issues with response time, or trouble seeing when behind the wheel.  There were 33 million licensed older drivers in 2009.  Of those elderly that have cut back on driving due to physical problems, 40% cited vision-related issues as a reason.
  1. Changes in Behavior & the Decision Making Process

 As loved ones get older, mental issues such as dementia may set in.  Alzheimer’s disease falls under the umbrella of dementia.  It is the 6th leading cause of death among American adults.  These diseases change a person’s mental state and decision making ability.  If you notice your family member is making decisions based on strange behavior or strange impulses, you should address the issue of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  1. Symptoms of Depression

 As people age, their friend’s pass away or move away to retire or be near family, and this could lead to an elderly person developing strong feelings of loneliness and isolation.  These life changes remind seniors of their own mortality, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.  Keeping active can help ward off depression.  If you notice your elderly loved one is lethargic or doesn’t want to participate in daily activities, they may be suffering from depression.  Also, keeping to themselves and not wanting to talk may indicate some depression.

Have questions?  Give our office a call at 818.887.9401