Senior Care at Home

Senior Care at Home

“Most elderly males have informal care, most elderly females do not.”
~Cynthia M. Taeuber

Anyone who helps those in need to maintain some level of independence (aka inter-dependence) at home, is a caregiver. Families provide most of caregiving, which is commonly referred to as “informal care” because it’s unpaid.

If you are experiencing seemingly more time now intervening at home with loved ones, you could be heading towards the caregiver role. So many of us are, you’re not alone.

Here are 12 signs to be on the lookout for and some resources to help:

1) Forgetting things: Missed appointments, forgetting where the car is parked, not remembering familiar names, all can be a sign of cognitive decline.

2) Not taking as many trips in the car as before: For example, not going to church or to visit friends/relatives. Reporting they are not comfortable driving after dark.

3) The car has unexplained dents or damage: Often blame others, “I was hit in the parking lot” or “someone must have hit me when I was in the store”.

4) Pulling away socially: Not engaging activities and people as they once did with the community and surroundings. They struggle to keep conversations going; often repeat over and over the same stories as if you’ve heard it for the first time.

5) Hearing loss: Leading to further isolation, often saying “huh?” whenever you engage in conversation.

6) Clothing that no longer fits: Weight loss due to loss of appetite or interest in eating. No longer shopping on a regular basis. Or simply forgetting to eat.

7) Poor hygiene: Body orders (urine, yeast, incomitance), no longer taking care of personal appearance, wearing soiled clothing.

8) Spoiled food in the fridge: Aged freezer burned food, smelly moldy, or decaying food items in the refrigerator, outdated items.

9) Unkept home: Stacks of newspapers piling up, dirty floors, dust accumulating, refrigerator spills, soiled towels, yard neglect, hoarding, mail stacking up, etc.

10) Wayfinding issues: Hanging onto furniture when getting around, wounds on lower limbs in various stages of healing, skin tears, bruising, can indicate balance problems.

11) Medications not being taken: Accumulating bottles with outdated labels.

12) Bills not being paid on time: Can mean the loss of something called “executive function” indicating cognitive decline.


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