More and more people are opting to age in place, which is a natural desire. Who wants to leave their home and neighborhood, a place they know and have made their own. Unfortunately, for some seniors, the reality may be that they are in need of elder care for their own well-being and continued health. Here are a few signs that a senior may be in need of elder care.
Seniors are prone to depression just like anyone else, and perhaps more so. The loss of loved ones and friends, or a loss of mobility, can cause seniors to be cut off from the outside world, causing isolation and depression. At the other end of the mood spectrum is aggression in words or actions, which could be indicative of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
This may also be indicative of serious cognitive decline, especially Alzheimer’s Disease. When a senior goes to the grocery store or the post office and get lost, it is a clear sign that cognition is declining. It isn’t their fault, but when a 20 minute errand becomes a 4 hour journey, and the senior finds their way home by luck or chance, changes need to be made. Don’t think this applies only to wandering around town. If a senior wanders aimlessly from room to room it is a sign of cognitive issues.
Any senior can begin to lose their mobility, whether or not they’re suffering from a chronic illness. It’s simply that aging bodies become more frail as time goes on. Assistive devices can be installed in the home to make going upstairs easier, or prevent slipping in the shower. A more effective option may be admission to an assisted-care facility, where a senior doesn’t need to worry about housekeeping, meals, falling or navigating from living to sleeping spaces.
This is another easily detected sign of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other chronic cognitive and memory diseases. Red flags can include clutter increasing around the house, piles of mail on the table, and a general lack of cleanliness. Failure to remember long standing appointments and/or forgetting a loved one’s name entirely are other signs of memory loss. Weight loss can be another sign of forgetfulness and may indicate that a senior no longer realizes it’s time to eat or go grocery shopping.
This may not be immediately apparent but it will most certainly become obvious over time. A senior’s teeth may decay, clothes may be stained, and a senior will generally appear unkempt. Some of this may be due to the physical challenges of taking a shower. It may also be due to the onset of Dementia and other types of cognitive decline.