As people age, many adult children and their families wonder how long their older loved one should live alone.
Common questions and worries include:
• Are they eating enough?
• Are they gaining enough socialization?
• Are they taking their medications and paying their bills on time?
If you aren’t with your loved one every day, it can be hard to be sure, leaving you increasingly worried.
One thing is certain, though: Your loved one is unlikely to let you know he or she needs additional help!
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out and check in often to ensure loved ones are getting the support they need while living the lifestyle they deserve.
However, if you are beginning to suspect a loved one may need personal care, here are a few telltale signs you could be right:
● Declining hygiene. Does your loved one not appear as neatly groomed as before? If family members or friends used to take pride in their appearance and don’t appear to care anymore, make note of that. If you visit the next day and they are in the same outfit as the day before, it’s likely a sign hygiene has declined.
● Issues paying bills. Does your loved one have notices of unpaid bills? Is the person not paying bills on time or paying too much? Make sure payments are on time and that bank accounts are not overdrawn. Money can become more difficult to keep track of as seniors age, especially if a high number of bills come from various places. If so, the situation could point to a larger issue.
● Issues taking medications. Are you finding that your loved one’s prescriptions are sitting longer than they should, or that you need to refill them more frequently? It’s important to make sure they aren’t missing doses or taking too much at once. Not only can this cause a number of health issues, but it could also be deadly. Talk to your loved one or their doctor about ways to manage medications and if a move to a personal care community might be wise.
● Growing health needs. Does your loved one need more care than you can provide? Are their needs increasing at a rapid pace? This could be a strong sign that a personal care community will be beneficial to them while providing you with peace of mind.
● Depression and isolation. If your loved one spends the majority of their time at home alone, especially if they can no longer drive, it can take a toll on their emotional health. Isolation and loneliness can lead to depression and that could lead to other health issues. A personal care community can provide opportunities for socialization and engagement that can help to prevent isolation and increase happiness.
● Forgetting things. If your loved one is beginning to forget important dates, how to do simple, familiar tasks and is forgetting to take medications, there may be a deeper memory issue. Be sure to talk to their doctor.
● Inability to drive safely. Does your loved one still drive and frequently have dents and scratches appearing on their car? Keep track of this and consider if it’s safe for them to continue driving.
If your loved one exhibits any of these troubling signs or you feel that a personal care community might be a good option, visit us at Diakon Senior Living Services. We would be happy to chat with you about your options, help you assess if personal care is right for your loved one and offer the support and guidance you need to make this process smoother. Contact the community nearest you today to learn more!
Personal Care Administrator
Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village