Most senior citizens fully intend on staying in their own homes until the very end, but unfortunately, this isn't always possible. Elderly people aren't always aware of their increasing limitations, either, which means friends and family members need to be on the lookout for signs things may need to change. Here is a look at four signs your loved one shouldn't be living alone anymore.
They Are Neglecting Their Personal Care Needs
Does it seem like they don't appear to be showering or bathing regularly or are no longer getting dressed each day, choosing to stay in their night clothes instead? Perhaps there are signs they aren't flossing and brushing their teeth or caring for and wearing their dentures. If their personal hygiene habits are sorely lacking, especially if they were always quite fastidious previously, it's time to take a closer look.
They Appear to Be Losing Weight
Cooking isn't an easy task for anyone, and it can become even more burdensome as one ages. It's also difficult to cook for just one person. Additionally, appetites can change over time. These are normal changes that can occur, but losing weight may also be a sign of something more serious.
It may be they are forgetting to eat, which is often an initial sign of cognitive impairment. They may feel depressed and isolated and have no appetite or will to live. They could also be suffering from an underlying physical condition that is causing them to lose weight, such as cancer. Regardless of the cause, any time an elderly person loses weight unexpectedly, the root cause needs to be explored further.
Their House Has Become a Mess
If your elderly parent or loved one was never a finicky housekeeper, this sign may not appear quite as blatantly as others. But in people who always previously showed great pride of homeownership and worked very hard to keep their home neat and tidy, a gradual or sudden decrease in the amount of care and detail given to the home can definitely indicate there may be trouble. Slowing down some is natural as one ages, but healthy elderly adults don't normally go from one extreme to the other. A messy house is usually a sign things are becoming overwhelming for the person.
Their Paperwork Isn't Being Taken Care of
Are there stacks of unopened mail sitting everywhere? Are the bills not getting paid? Has the power or water been turned off due to missed payments? Perhaps they are having banking difficulties. These issues can be a clear sign of cognitive issues.
If you see any signs, such as these or others, that life is becoming difficult to for your loved one to manage on their own, a careful assessment of their abilities should be made. It may be time to consider moving them into a 24-hour nursing care facility so they can receive the support they need.
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