A messy house is not necessarily a cause for concern. First, take into consideration underlying reasons. If the elder is recovering from illness or injury, they may not have the ability to keep up their normal routine due to pain. If it has been awhile since you’ve seen the elder—maybe they don’t keep their house the same as they did when you were younger. You need to assess if this is by choice or lack of ability. Drastic changes, especially, are the concern. For both of those issues housekeeping services will help. If the holidays are near there can be other factors such as depression of the loss of loved ones or the family’s inability to come together. Still, you can be sensitive to recognize warning signs during occasional visits. See other warning signs that care may be needed. Download our printable checklist to see if care might be needed.
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People of all ages benefit from losing excess weight, reasons include reduced risk of cancer, less stress on joints and reduced depression. However, when an elder suddenly loses weight without apparent reason, it could be cause for concern.
If it is due to forgetfulness or inability to prepare meals—the weight loss may be an early sign that care is needed.
It could also be a sign of health risks or disease. At first sign of sudden weight loss, try talking to the elder to see if you can discover the reason. If financial ability is a concern and the elder lives in Ada County, consider these options. Learn more about nutrition for seniors. Read More
Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of accidental death in adults age 65 and older. After a fall, the fear of falling can become as life changing and routine-inhibiting as the pain and recovery. One of my senior loved ones fell recently. She was so badly injured, she ended up in the hospital for almost a week. Afterwards, she needed physical therapy to improve her balance and coordination.
There are several easy steps you can take to prevent falls and reduce the fear of falling in older adults. For example, remove throw rugs and incorporate confidence-building exercise. Here is a great resource: Preventing falls in older adults. Read More
Dramatic mood changes can be a sign of mental decline. Sometimes depression can mask as dementia. Swinging from anger to tears is a possible sign of early Alzheimer’s. Other things to watch for are forgetfulness and withdrawal from friends. Loneliness can also be a factor in elder mood changes. If that is the reason, find activities to help ease the loneliness.
- Start a project such as creating an oral history
- Hire respite care
- Search out a senior center for activities. Boise Senior Center | Meridian Senior Center
More than collecting, hoarding hampers everyday life by the excessive collection of unnecessary items. When hoarding becomes an issue, items which are not only unnecessary—but often unusable—are carefully guarded.
Many times, the hoarder is unaware how bad their situation has grown. Remember, it often takes time to amass the items. They have become used to the living situation gradually.
Hoarding is linked to some of the other signs that care is needed, such as mobility, safety concerns and housekeeping changes. Read More
Finances are tricky, for one thing, most people keep them very private. Our recent newsletter mentioned Why You Should Share Online Passwords. But for the most part, you may not discover that an elder is having difficulty with finances without a few pointed questions.
Ask yourself: Do they express fear or uncertainty about ability to provide food and shelter?
Lack of mobility seriously hampers daily life for elders. If you or a loved one are prone to falling, view our resources for suggestions to keep the house free of clutter and increase exercise for strength and mobility.
If an elder is rebuilding energy and strength after surgery or illness, consider having family members and friends take turns pitching in an occasional day to clean and cook. Keeping a few prepared meals easily accessible will ease the burden on the elder. If this is not possible respite care or housekeeping services will provide that help. Read More