Signs that a Senior May Need Help

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Have you noticed that mom's house may not be as spic and span as it used to be?  Have you said to yourself, wasn't dad wearing that same outfit yesterday?  When you walked past your grandfather's car, did you notice the dent in the back bumper?  When you saw your neighbor, did she look thinner to you?

At first you probably chalked these things up to them having an off day.  We all have them no matter how old you are.  Then you begin to see things happening more often or getting worse.  So you say something to your mom, dad, grandfather or neighbor and they give you a quick-witted reply and you brush it off.

Until it happens again!  The next time you ask,  most likely you get that quick reply or a "why are you asking so many questions" reply.  You feel awkward and let it go.  However then something happens.  You get a call from the police that your grandfather has been in a small fender bender.  In the back of your mind, you knew something was wrong, but you brushed it off.

Now you cannot brush it off.  You have to do something, but what?

Fixing the car is obviously an easy task, but when you speak with the body shop, they point out to you all the other dents and scratches on the car.  How did this happen?  This is the man who would gather up the family and take you on road trips to the beach for the day.  Grandpa was always a great driver who could deal with everyone yelling back and forth as he sang along to the oldies music on the radio.  When you sit down and ask him what happened he says someone was flying through the parking lot too fast and he did not see them and just bumped their car.  NO BIG DEAL!

Unfortunately there comes a time when these small things become larger issues that you will have to deal with.  It is never fun, but for their safety and your sanity you will have to work through them.  Here's a list of some things to watch out for, so you can be aware of them if they happen:

  • House is not as clean as it used to be
  • Medications are all over the place on the counter
  • Dents or scratches on the car
  • Weight loss
  • Wearing the same clothes multiple days in a row
  • Any personal care odors
  • Expired foods in the fridge
  • Garbage piling up
  • Anything different from the norm

If you don't want to be a nag and ask them about it, keep a journal of what you are noticing so you can look for patterns.  Once you have a real idea of what is going on, then you can address your concerns and figure out a plan to fix them.​


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