Last week I shared the first 5 warning signs indicating the need for senior assistance. Here’s the second installment of what to look for the next time you visit an aging loved one. Many older adults worry about staying in their home; concerned about losing their independence or leaving their home, they try to hide issues or problem areas from their friends and family.
To help you identify if your senior loved one needs assistance, be on the lookout for these warning signs:
Sign #6: Signs of Injury. Bruises and scratches could be evidence of falls. Seniors who’ve fallen are at greater risk for repeat falls leading to more serious injuries. To the contrary, many seniors may be taking blood thinning medications that make bruises appear worse than they really are. If in doubt, consult a physician.
Sign #7: Disorientation. Confusion about time of day or difficulty navigating their surroundings away from home can be a telltale sign that senior assistance is needed. On an outing such as shopping or at a restaurant, observe if they can walk alone and how they adjust to new situations. Often the elderly function fine at home, but physical or mental challenges are more apparent in less familiar settings. The same holds especially true for driving.
Sign # 8: Community. Neighbors, friends or those who work for the person in your care may notice changes in behavior. Maybe they go out less than usual, or not at all. Perhaps papers and mail are stacking up. Check in with others to see what they have observed and compare notes.
Sign #9: Finances. Bills routinely left unopened or unpaid indicate serious issues. Setting up some simple systems may address this concern, but disarray could be a sign of cognitive decline or depression.
Sign #10: Predators. Older seniors, especially those living alone, are more vulnerable to con artists. Falling victim to disreputable individuals who befriend or scam the elderly may indicate a senior’s judgment is failing. Be on the lookout for unnecessary or frequent purchases (e.g., catalog or home shopping networks). If you suspect elder abuse, check out the National Center on Elder Abuse at: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov
If you think senior assistance is needed for your loved one, paying bills, organizing important papers, and reconciling accounts, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Fiscally Fit, Inc. Email me at Alison@fiscallyfit.us or call (650) 965-4090 for a no-cost, no-obligation appointment.