The older folks among us are no doubt winners at the game of life. No matter what has been thrown at them they have persisted-and survived.
Our culture places much value on personal autonomy and
independence. When old age arrives it may rob us of both.
Old age is a difficult time in our human existence. It is the time of failing bodies and often minds.
Family members and friends will often assume the role of caretaker when the older person begins having difficulty. Time goes by and the older adults needs are can overwhelm their helpers. When is it time to consider a senior apartment, outside help? Assisted Living?
- Confusion. Are there times when you struggle to make sense of what they are saying. What they are doing.
- Depression What sort of mood do you generally find them in? Have they lost interest in favored activities?
- Are the barriers and physical hazards (ie stairs)
- Numerous falls/unexplained injuries
- Check the Refrigerator! Is there a safe supply of food? Are things spoiling?
- Check medications. Are they being refilled? Taken as directed?
- Are they managing incontinence issues? Strong urine odor. layers on bed
- Is the home unclean? Falling into disrepair?
- Is mail backing up. Collection notices, calls?
- Are funds disappearing? Take a look at the checkbook if you can. Are they keeping track of things?
- Increase in driving accidents/incidents
- Increase in Household incidents/accidents
- Reports of wandering/getting lost
- Disheveled appearance, body odor, wearing soiled clothing
- Missed appointments, events, missing routine social activities.
In the end you must trust your gut. If more than one or two of these things are happening chances are you need to make some new arrangements to assure your loved ones well being.
Next Week; The Elder Care Landscape