Recognizing and Handling Changes in the Elderly
It can be hard to know when an aging family member needs long-term care. Here are a few changes that tell you when it’s time to have a conversation about additional help:
- Difficulty driving Increasing falls in the home
- Difficulty in shopping for and preparing meals
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in bathing and personal hygiene
- Forgetting to take or taking pills too often
- Social isolation
Don’t wait to have this conversation! Some symptoms can be treated with medication or by monitoring the side effects of current medication. Make an appointment with a doctor for an assessment that should include both a physical and mental examination.
Your aging family member may not want to cooperate. It’s hard to come to terms with the loss of independence but there are solutions to every problem. Learn more about how to choose a skilled nursing center.
Helping Your Loved One Stay Self-Sufficient
When older people live on their own they may run into problems because of:
- Insufficient income for rent, mortgage, food or utilities.
- No money to pay for health care, prescriptions and dental care.
- Trouble getting to medical appointments or out on errands.
- No friends or lack of social connection to the local community.
- Vulnerability to frauds and scams.
- Elder abuse or domestic abuse.
There are social services available. Counselors can connect you to local resources, such as home-delivered meals; personal care and chore services; caregiver respite services; transportation; homemaker services; senior employment; social and educational opportunities; and the long-term care ombudsman.
Indiana Residents: Contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
Ohio Residents: Contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
Additional online resources
National Council on Aging’s Benefit Checkup
Official Government site for Medicare
Official Government site for Medicaid