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5 Signs of Changing Care Needs in Aging Adults

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As seniors age, their care needs often change. They may need extra assistance with activities like paying the bills and grocery shopping, or they may require more extensive care. However, seniors aren’t always willing or able to discuss their changing care needs, which is why caregivers should watch out for signs that their senior loved one needs more support. 

1. Poor Personal Hygiene 

When seniors stop taking care of their personal hygiene, it’s often a sign they’re having difficulty with daily grooming activities. Mobility difficulties may make it challenging to get in and out of the shower or bathtub. If your loved one has arthritis, it may make tasks that require manual dexterity, like buttoning a shirt or holding a toothbrush, much more difficult. Signs of lax hygiene standards include noticeable body odors, dirty clothing, messy hair, and poor oral care. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Dayton seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

2. Cognitive Decline

Changing care needs are often caused by cognitive decline. If you notice your loved one is unusually forgetful or disoriented, he or she may be exhibiting early signs of dementia. Common signs include losing track of time, mood swings, and poor judgment. Seniors in the early stages of dementia often become confused when attempting familiar tasks, and they forget to take medications or show up to appointments. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Dayton seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

3. Loss of Mobility

Even when a senior is cognitively healthy, a decrease in mobility can have a major impact on his or her lifestyle. Loss of mobility makes many daily activities, ranging from driving to doing the laundry, much more difficult. If you suspect your loved one is experiencing issues with physical function or mobility, check to see whether he or she has difficulty walking or getting up from a seated position. You should also check for unexplained bruises or injuries and noticeable changes to his or her weight. When seniors start to have mobility issues, caregivers should install simple safety precautions. Even basic safety measures like grab bars can make the home easier to navigate and minimize the chance of injuries. 

4. Avoiding Responsibilities

For many seniors, standard household responsibilities become more difficult with age. However, admitting they can no longer manage their own bills may infringe upon their independence. If you suspect your loved one is avoiding household responsibilities, start by looking in the refrigerator. If it’s empty or filled with old, rotting food, it’s a sign that trips to the grocery store have become scarce. If there are stacks of bills and unopened mail piling up, your loved one may be avoiding financial responsibilities. Also check for dirty laundry, new dents in your loved one’s car, and stains on the carpet or upholstery. 

5. Meal Preparation Issues

Seniors need to eat nutrient-rich foods to stay healthy. However, cooking can be dangerous, especially for seniors who are experiencing dexterity issues or forgetfulness. Keeping the refrigerator stocked with fresh food should be a priority, but you also need to make sure your loved one can safely prepare meals. If the pots and pans have scorch marks, it may be a sign your loved one left food on the stove until it burned.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Dayton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you’re looking for a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, contact us at 937-353-1412 today.

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