It isn’t always easy knowing exactly how to support someone you love, in the right way, at the right time and often times, fear of embarrassment or appearing ‘weak’ means they won’t always reach out and ask for help.
Here are some tips that can act as a guide to help you be proactively involved in your aging loved ones wellbeing.
A desire to cover an illness or decline in health may be marked by withdrawal or excused away as forgetfulness.
Someone suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may appear distant or irritable, while loneliness could be masked by depression or isolation.
What can you do? Give the gift of your time.
Top 10 Warning Signs
Your Elderly Loved One May Need Your Help
Check The Refrigerator
Look in the refrigerator, check the food supply and expiration dates
Drive their car to check the state of the inspection, tires, oil, and antifreeze
The Mailbox & Bills
Take a peek at the mail, and keep an eye out for unpaid bills
Investigate the bathroom to check for cleanliness
Take note at how any pets are doing: are they well groomed? Food supply? Routine wellness check visits to the veterinarian?
Check w/ Friends and Neighbors
Talk to the neighbors or close friends, establish a relationship so you are the first person they call if they have any concerns about your loved one
Check medications. Are they current? What are they for? Are they being taken correctly?
Is the shower being used as a clothes hanger instead of for bathing? Sometimes the fear of falling while getting into the shower means ceasing to use. Perhaps looking at installing grab safety bars and a shower seat would eliminate these fears.
Their Social Life
Is your loved one not involved or engaged in things they have found enjoyment in for years (church, hobbies, outings)?
Are they taking interest in their own personal self-care? Clothes clean, well groomed, etc.?
Most importantly, take the time to really be present and available. Through thoughtful conversation and taking the time to listen, chances are they will share things they are concerned about and this opens a door for you to be able to help. Or, if your concerns for their safety and wellbeing are great, reach out to a local professional to find resources in your area.