There can be many signs that it is time to pull in an expert on aging for your loved. Here I talk about 5 common signs it maybe time to get a free consult.
Sign #1 : Not bathing / Wearing same clothing time and again
Do you find on your visits that your loved one hasn't bathed or is consistently wearing the same clothing? This is a sign that they may be finding something more challenging than before. It could be they can more easily put on that outfit so that is why they choose to wear it over and over again. It could be they had a near fall trying to maintain the laundry and don't want to move so they haven't told anyone about their struggles. It could be they have some cognitive deficits that are impacting their decision making skills. Perhaps they care unaware that this is the 3rd consecutive day they have wore that outfit. Perhaps they are fearful of falling in the tub so they choose to do sponge baths instead. There are many small changes I can help put into place that could potentially keep your loved one living at home and give them even longer to age-in-place.
Sign #2 : Resistant to leaving the house
Is your loved one more and more reasons not to attend family functions, church services or social gatherings they once enjoyed. It could be depression but often it is a sign there are underlining issues at play. Perhaps they do not feel safe to drive but rather than to admit that it is easier to decline the invite. It could be the physical wear and tear it takes on them to get out of the house and venture about. There could be some cognitive concerns that "forgetfulness" cannot be the label for. Perhaps a drive down the way to church may cause them to get confused and forget how to get home. There can be medical conditions that have exacerbated that are making it more difficult. Whatever the cause there is a reason and it usually is not one best left to "oh mom just wasn't feeling up to getting out today."
Sign #3 : Confusion when asked questions
Once and while we can get confused when asked a question that seems to come out of no where. For seniors who are struggling with the complications of the aging process it can be even more difficult. A question that we may think of as a normal question might seem to them to be "out of the blue". This can be related to memory loss or cognitive impairments. For them the question is confusing because it seems out of no where and so it takes much more cognitive effort to answer it appropriately. Often there are families that do not even realize this issue is there because when important questions get asked they senior responds in a way that is meant to make the questioner feel stupid for even proposing the question. "Did you eat today Mom?" - Daughter "Of course I did what you think I can't manage fixing myself something to eat without you" -Mom. What could have happened in this situation is that indeed the Mom did not eat because she hasn't been hungry and forgot to have dinner last night, breakfast or lunch. Mom might have known that when asked the questions she doesn't know for sure if she had eaten but knew it was implied she should have so to avoid any undo discomfort or risk her family finding out she might not be managing on her own as well as she implies she causes a little argument to hide her cognitive deficits. They is often the case with financial issues, medication management, nutrition, and even when they might have been taken advantage of by a scam. I have seen this with the common IRS scam.
Sign #4 : Medication mismanagement
Medications play a crucial role in the our health as we age for most. The mismanagement of medication results in a number of ER admits, falls, strokes, heart attacks, worsen medical conditions every month. If there is any type of cognitive impairment even the early early early stages of dementia can make for disaster waiting to happen. Forgetting to take pills, forgetting you have taken them and taking them again, Mixing up what pill is what, taking them with foods they shouldn't or not informing each specialist of the medication the other has prescribed. These are all small things that can be life threatening.
Just because your loved one cannot safely manage their medication there are many options I can assist with to keep them in their home. If that isn't best there are even ways they can still live independently with their own apartment but in a medical setting where RNs manage their medications for them without them having to move into a Nursing Home. Yep I can do that. Just call and let me talk about what we can do for your loved one.
Sign #5 : Nutrition - or as I commonly see a lack there of
The ability to prepare meals is a big key sign there is a need to pull me in. I have many ways to make aging-in-place possible at a price that doesn't break the bank. Nutrition plays a key role in health as we age. Often with age our hunger level drops. This can lead to seniors actually forgetting to eat because they do not find themselves hungry. I also find that cooking can become difficult. Grocery shopping alone can be more than a chore but opening a can of beans, or lifting a chicken from the oven can be too much for your loved one to manage safely on their own. I see seniors eating can soups. This is not a good option because most soups are loaded with sodium and too much sodium isn't good for any of us let alone if we have CHF, HTN, History of TIA / Stroke, Diabetes, or just trying to maintain. There are many options I can show you to assist with this important issue while helping your loved one feel independent.