As your loved one ages, you might begin to worry about his or her health and safety. Whether this is a parent, grandparent, or someone else, it can be hard to know how much help your loved one really needs.
If your loved one lives alone, coming over on a regular basis to check in might help ease your mind. If you don’t live close by, maybe you have another relative or friend who can make an occasional visit. Here are some details to take note of when visiting an aging relative. These should help you be able to figure out when it’s time for assisted living or another senior housing option.
Check the refrigerator. If there isn’t very much food or there appears to be a lot of food that’s gone bad, this could be a sign that your loved one hasn’t been eating well. However, don’t jump to any conclusions if it’s the first time this happens. There might be a reasonable explanation.
Has your loved one been losing quite a bit of weight? This might be a sign that there’s been a change in appetite. It could also mean that your loved one might be forgetting to eat or might not be eating well. If you spend a full day with your loved one or if the two of you have a meal together, you’ll be able to observe their eating habits further.
If you stop by a couple days in a row and notice that your loved one is wearing the exact same outfit, this should be something to take note of. Try to figure out if your loved one is aware it’s the same outfit, but make sure you don’t sound judgmental or rude. Again, don’t panic if it’s the first time you see this. Instead, take note of the outfit and keep watching what your loved one wears during each visit.
Also take note of what your loved one’s living space looks like. If it begins to look dirtier than usual, it might mean your loved one doesn’t have the energy anymore to clean up. If you can help him or her clean up, that will probably be very appreciated.
One last detail to pay attention to is how often your loved one gets injured. Frequent injuries are a cause for concern, particularly if your loved one is living alone. This might even be something that worries you if you know it’s happening very frequently.
If you’re seeing a lot of these signs in your loved one, find a time to start discussing the possibility of assisted living or another form of senior care or housing. There are various levels of senior care, so do some research before overwhelming your loved one with all the possibilities.