When you visit your elderly relative, it is important that you look out for possible signs that they need help. They might be showing signs of Alzheimer's or simply that they should have some in-home assistance or healthcare help. Here are some signs to look for when you are visiting your older relatives.
Lack of Household Chores Being Done
An easy thing to check when you are visiting an elderly relative is to look around their house and see if they are keeping up with housework and regular chores. This can tell you a lot about their physical ability and whether or not they can live independently without any help. Not keeping up with laundry or having dishes in the sink doesn't necessarily mean they need to move to an assisted living community, but it could be a sign that they need some in-home help. Look for things like stacks of newspapers, bags of trash, or old food sitting out.
Old or Insufficient Food
Also take a look in the pantry and refrigerator to see how much food is there, and whether or not the food looks safe to eat. If you find mostly food scraps that look to be extremely outdated, it might have been a while since your grandmother last went grocery shopping. Perhaps she isn't eating enough or is having difficulty making it to the store on her own. Her memory and judgment might be failing as well, which is an early sign of Alzheimer's. If her pantries and fridge are almost bare, it is a major red flag that she either can't make it to the store or she doesn't have enough money for groceries.
Physical Signs of Illness or Weight Loss
Not only should you look around the relative's home, but at their physical appearance as well. Do they have shrunken facial features, pale skin, or skinnier arms than the last time you saw them? If so, they might be losing weight rapidly due to illness or not eating enough. If their clothes look or smell soiled or their hair is greasy, they might be having trouble taking care of their own personal hygiene. This is another red flag that tells you they need some in-home help. Also watch how they walk, looking for slow walking or an obvious issue with balance.
Speak to your loved one if you notice any issues around their home and offer your help. Let them know there is in-home help available, allowing them to remain in their home but still get the help they need. Contact a business, such as Alta Ridge Communities, for more information.