Noticing Changes in Seniors

Posted by Kathy Contino-Turner on 5 November 2014 | Comments

The Holiday season is upon us. If your plans include visiting elderly friends or relatives, there are some warning signs to look out for to make sure your senior is safe and happy.

            Dr. Erim Elif, Medical Director of the Masonic Care Community says one of the biggest warning signs is hygiene. Failing to keep up with basic, daily routines such as bathing, brushing teeth, even wearing clean clothing, could be a sign of depression, dementia or other physical impairments. Memory loss is another cause of concern. There is a difference between normal changes that occur with aging and memory loss that is signaling a larger issue. Memory changes that may be cause for concern include getting lost in familiar neighborhoods, forgetting common words when speaking or being unable to follow directions. Memory issues could also affect how a senior takes medication. Here are some other things to consider:  

  • Is senior is safe in their home and are they able to get around. Falls are the number one cause of disability among seniors.  
  • If they are driving, are they safe on the road?
  • One important warning sign could be found in the kitchen. Do you see any scorching on pots and pans? This could mean the senior forgot items on the stove.
  • Has housework been neglected?
  • Has the senior lost weight? This could be a sign that they are having difficulty preparing meals or perhaps another more serious underlying condition
  • Can the senior take care of their home? At this time of year, in northeast, our concern is snow and ice. Can take care of their entry way and sidewalk?

 

            These are just a few things that might signal a need for your intervention. The experts say talk to the senior about your concerns, or contact an immediate family member. Offer to accompany them to the doctor and encourage regular medical check ups. Address issues of safety that concern you; perhaps you might find someone to shovel the snow. Contact a licensed home care agency. Acacia Home Care brings the excellence of the Masonic Care Community to the senior. It allows seniors to stay in their homes longer. If it appears that caring for a home is too much for the senior, suggest Independent Living assisted living or adult residential options. So many seniors seem to get healthier when they are living with their peers, and no longer need to be responsible for household maintenance.

Finally, the experts tell us that many seniors won’t admit they need assistance, so if you notice changes in them that are concerning, speak up. Your local office for the aging will also have some suggestions. Remind your senior that they were there for you and now you will be there for them.

 

For more information, Contact the Masonic Care Community @ 315.798-4800