Caregiving Tips

If you have observed two or more of the following characteristics, you may need to seek professional advice for your older loved one:

Physical Signs:

  • Recent health problems
  • Serious side effects from medications
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Repeated falls (bruises on arms and legs can be an indicator)
  • Neglected hygiene
  • Incontinence

Cognitive/ Orientation Signs:

  • Memory lapses
  • Impaired thinking
  • Impaired communication (verbal or written)
  • Unaware of person, place, and time
  • Inability to account for time

Behavioral Signs:

  • Aggressiveness or abusiveness
  • Isolation
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Neglected appearance
  • Lethargy or apathy
  • Any other drastic change in routine

Financial Signs:

  • Not paying bills on time
  • Unable to balance check book
  • Not able to account for spending

Daily Living Signs:

  • Trouble grocery shopping
  • Difficultly cooking, eating, or using appliances safely
  • Less frequent or poor house cleaning
  • Difficulty bathing
  • Poor mobility
  • Needs help dressing
  • Cannot drive a car or use public transportation safely
  • Check the automobile for any new dents or fresh paint from a repair

A few safety considerations to think about if you want to be proactive:

Home Safety Tips:

  • Add handrails or grab bars in the bathroom
  • Invest in an emergency response system
  • Check for adequate lighting (seniors need 30% more light to see)
  • Remove scatter or throw rugs and minimize clutter
  • Buy a cordless phone for them to carry with them in the house
  • Consider widening doorways and adding a ramp to the home entrance