Your elderly loved one may not always let you know that she needs some extra help. Even though you’re her family caregiver, she could still feel that she’s inconveniencing you by letting you know she’s in need.
Here are some physical cues to be on the watch for.
Your Loved One’s Appearance or Attention to Hygiene Has Changed
An extremely visible sign that your elderly loved one needs more assistance is her outward appearance. This is particularly important if your elderly loved one has always been well-groomed and attentive to her hygiene. As she ages, it can become more and more difficult for her to take care of herself well. Because of that, some tasks fall through the cracks.
Your Loved One Is Losing or Gaining Weight
Changes in weight can tell you quite a bit more about your elderly loved one’s situation than you might think. Gaining or losing weight could mean that she’s not eating properly, that she’s unable or unwilling to cook, or even that she’s experiencing health problems. As your loved one ages, she may also lose her senses of taste or smell, making eating far less appealing. Start with a trip to your loved one’s doctor so you can determine if there are underlying health conditions that you need to be aware of.
Your Loved One Isn’t Safe to Drive
Is your elderly loved one safe to be on the road? Due to changes in her health, eyesight, or even simply her mental and emotional state, she may not be able to continue to drive. Look for signs that can clue you in. One may be that your loved one seems reluctant to go anywhere. Another could be that there are unexplained indicators of wrecks on the car itself. Talk to your loved one about how she feels about her own driving abilities.
Your Loved One Has a Difficult Time with Mobility
If your elderly loved one isn’t able to get around very well on her own, she may benefit greatly from extra help. Perhaps your loved one already uses a mobility assistance device, but even it isn’t helping as much. Your loved one may also be neglecting other aspects of her own care because it’s so difficult for her to get around. It’s worth doing some more investigation.
Talk to your loved one about what kinds of help she needs and is willing to accept.