While many senior citizens want to preserve their independence by living alone, chronic health conditions, limited mobility, and even cognitive deficits may make this impossible. If you are not in the position to live with your loved one or be his or her permanent caregiver, explore other options such as elderly home care services. Here are some signs that may indicate that your senior loved one is no longer able to live independently.
The next time you visit your elderly loved one, evaluate him or her for weight changes. If you notice that the person has lost or gained significant amounts of weight, he or she may not be eating right. As soon as possible, make an appointment with the aging adult's physician who will perform a physical examination, and if warranted, order additional diagnostic tests.
The doctor will then determine if the weight changes are associated with medical conditions, cognitive deficits, depression, or even early stage dementia. If any of these conditions are thought to be the cause of weight loss or weight gain, and if you believe that the senior is no longer to care for him or herself, contact an elderly home care services agency to learn how they can help.
If your loved one appears unkempt, he or she may be ill or exhibiting signs of forgetfulness, severe depression, or dementia. You will need to determine why the senior has not been able to keep up with his or her hygiene needs, and if the person is unable to tell you why, bring him or her to the doctor as soon as possible. Neglecting one's hygiene may be one of the first signs that an elderly person is unable to live independently, and alternative arrangements should be made, such as home health care.
If your loved one is unsure or hesitant about getting help in the home, do a test run. For example, hire a caregiver for a couple of days, however, do not leave your loved one alone with the person until he or she feels comfortable. The more comfortable the aging adult feels with a caregiver, the more amendable he or she will be to accepting help.
If your senior loved has lost or gained weight or appears unkempt, call a home health care agency to learn about their elderly home care services. While the senior may be resistant to change, he or she may eventually "come around," If the person is still uncomfortable about having a caregiver come into to the home, call a family meeting to further discuss caregiving options.