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7 Signs & Symptoms Your Senior May Need Assistance


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  • 1. 7 Signs & Symptom's That Your Loved One May Need More Assistance !
  • 2. Asking the Question?……...……………….….1! ! Dealing with the Question……………….….…3! ! Sign 1: Neglected Home...…..………………...6! ! Sign 2: Poor Eating Habits…..……………......8 ! ! Sign 3: Neglected Hygiene…………………..10! ! Sign 4: Depression.…………………………..12! ! Sign 5: Forgetfulness…....…..……………….14! ! Sign 6: Unopened Mail & Mishandled Finances………………..………..…………….16 ! ! Sign 7: Missed Medication & Doctor’s Visits ………………………………..………….……..18! ! Getting the Answers.…...…..………………...20! ! TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  • 3. CHAPTER 1! Asking The Question…! Page 1 Most  families  eventually  have  to  deal  with  the   complicated  and  overwhelming  ques8on:  How  do  I   know  when  an  aging  rela8ve  needs  more  assistance   than  our  family  can  provide?  One  thing  is  certain  -­‐   your  parents  will  not  be  the  ones  to  tell  you  they  need   help!     Our Goal: ! To  discuss  the  signs  and  symptom's  of  seniors  at  risk  of   declining  health  and  who  are  no  longer  safe  to  live   alone.  
  • 4. All  too  oFen  families  make  arrangements  for  senior  care  only   aFer  their  loved  one  has  suffered  a  serious  incident  such  as  a   debilita8ng  fall  or  health  problems  as  a  result  of  incorrect  use   of  medica8ons.         So  the  ques8on  becomes,  what  are  the  tell-­‐tale  signs  that  a   senior  is  now  in  need  of  assistance  so  that  a  family  can  start   care  arrangements  and  prevent  their  loved  one  from  undue   suffering.     Many  aging  seniors  eventually  need  some  degree  of  help  with   daily  tasks.  These  tasks  include  bathing,  cooking,  ea8ng,   changing  clothes  and  geJng  safely  into  and  out  of  the  bathtub,   driving  to  a  doctor’s  appointment  or  just  running  daily  errands.     OFen,  as  the  aging  process  unfolds,  your  senior  may  exhibit   even  more  needs,  such  as  early  signs  of  mild  cogni8ve   impairment,  inability  to  consistently  take  medica8ons  correctly   or  even  financial  vulnerability  to  scam  ar8sts  who  target   seniors.     So,  what  are  some  of  the  common  indicators  that  your  parents   may  need  assistance  or  care?     CHAPTER 1! Asking the Question….! Page 2
  • 5. Page 3 CHAPTER 2! Dealing With the Question…   “Someone  turning  age  65  today  has  a   70%  chance  of  needing  some  type  of   long  term  care  and  services  and   support  in  their  remaining  years”   U.S.  Department  of  Health  and   Human  Services  
  • 6. Page 4 CHAPTER 2! Dealing With The Question…   What  are  some  of  the  tasks  they   may  need  assistance  with:       1.  House  Cleaning   2.  Cooking  Meals   3.  Changing  clothes  and  geJng   safely  into  and  out  of  the  bathtub   4.  Bathing   5.  Companionship   6.  Driving  to  a  doctor’s  appointment     7.  Running  daily  errands.   So,  what  are  some  of  the  common  indicators   that  your  parents  may  need  assistance  or   care?     Here  are  some  of  the  tell  tale  signs:     1.  Neglected  Home     2.  Poor  Ea8ng  Habits   3.  Neglected  Hygiene   4.  Depression     5.  Forge`ulness   6.  Unopened  Mail  and  Mishandled  Finances   7.  Missed  Medica8on  or  Doctor’s  Visits  
  • 7. CHAPTER 2! Dealing With The Question…! Page 5 It  Can  Be  Painful     Many  aging  seniors  need  some  degree  of  help  with  daily   tasks.    It’s  oFen  difficult  and  truly  heart  wrenching  to  face  the   fact  that  Mom  or  Dad  just  can’t  stay  home  alone  any  longer.     To  see  that  person,  your  mom  or  dad  who  was  your  “rock”   and  your  guiding  light  through  the  most  challenging  8mes  of   your  life  e.g.  your  first  day  of  school,  acne,  and  your  wedding   day  now  needing  you  in  a  way  that  no  one  can  prepare  for  is   just  painful.     Not  only  do  you  have  the  stress  of  the  day  to  day  with  your   own  family  and  work,  but  now  you  need  to  convince  mom  or   dad  to  make  a  change  and  begin  to  oversee  their  care.     So  the  ques8on  becomes,  what  are  the  important  signs  that   your  loved  one  is  star8ng  to  need  assistance,  and  what  kind   of  help  do  they  really  need?     To  follow  we  will  examine  in  greater  depth  the  common  signs   seniors  oFen  struggle  with  throughout  the  aging  process.    
  • 8. Page 6 CHAPTER 3! Sign 1: Neglected Home…   Clu>ered  and  unkempt  living  areas   is  an  easy  warning  sign  to  spot.    It’s   also  dangerous  as  it  increases  the   risk  of  a  fall    
  • 9. CHAPTER 3! Sign 1: Neglected Home…! Page 7   A  neglected  home  is  generally  an  easy   warning  sign  to  spot  and  may  mean  the   older  adult  is  now  physically  unable  to   pick  up  around  the  house  or  their   cogni8ve  skills  have  declined  and  they   are  now  less  aware  of  their   surroundings.     Clueered  living  areas  mean  more   things  to  trip  on  and  can  lead  to  serious   fall  injuries.    Unclean  kitchens  and   bathrooms  result  in  unsanitary   condi8ons,  spreading  bacteria   throughout  the  house.     Other  physical  clues  around  your  parents’  home  may  be  a  red   flag  as  well,  such  as  the  smell  of  urine  –  indica8ng  possible  bouts   of  incon8nence,  or  scorched  pots  and  pans,  indica8ng   forge`ulness  while  cooking.      
  • 10. Page 8 CHAPTER 4! Sign 2: Poor Eating Habits…   “It's  one  of  the  quirks  of  human   survival.    Food  shared  just  seems  to   taste  be>er  than  food  eaten  alone.     That  may  be  one  reason  many   elderly  people  who  live  alone  are  at   risk  for  malnutriJon.”     American  College  of  Nutri8on     in  Washington,  D.C.  
  • 11. CHAPTER 4! Poor Eating Habits…! Page 9 A  decrease  in  appe8te  is  not  unusual   for  the  elderly  as  their  metabolic  rate   naturally  slows  down  which  makes   this  a  par8cularly  difficult  warning   sign  to  spot.    A  decline  in  appe8te     becomes  a  red  flag  when  it  results  in   excessive  weight  loss,  lack  of  energy   or  dehydra8on.    One  of  the  warning   signs  of  demen8a  is  that  the  senior   will  fill  their  diet  with  mostly  sugary   snacks.             Poor  ea8ng  habits  results  in  increased  falls,  disorienta8on,   urinary  tract  infec8ons  and  generally  being  more  prone  to   illness.    Monitoring  the  weight,  cooking  and  ea8ng  habits  of  the   elderly  is  cri8cal  to  spoJng  when  its  8me  to  start  with   caregiving.     There  are  many  factors  to  consider  when  evalua8ng  the  ea8ng   habits  of  seniors  -­‐  such  as  depression,  isola8on,  oral  hygiene  and   use  of  dentures,  medica8on  side  effects  and  other  underlying   medical  condi8ons.      Iden8fying  the  cause  of  “poor  ea8ng   habits”  is  cri8cal  in  addressing  this  concern    
  • 12. Page 10 CHAPTER 5! Sign 4: Neglected Hygiene …   Infrequent  or  inadequate  bathing  or   unclean  clothes  may  be  a  sign  of  declining   mobility,  forgeLulness  or  even  the   beginning  stages  of  demenJa.  
  • 13. CHAPTER 5! Neglected Hygiene …! Page 11   Like  poor  ea8ng  habits,  neglected   hygiene  can  show  up  in  a  number   of  ways  with  a  mul8tude  of  causes.     Body  odor,  neglected  fingernails   and/or  teeth  are  easily  no8ceable   warning  signs  showing  that  your   senior  needs  aeen8on.       This  could  be  due  to  your  aging   parent  not  being  able  to  safely  get   into  the  shower  or  bath.       Do  a  physical  assessment  of  the   bathroom;  consider  placing  grab   bars,  or  geJng  a  raised  toilet  seat.   Also,  check  to  see  if  the  laundry  is  geJng  done.    OFen,  you   may  see  aging  parents  wearing  the  same  clothes  for  several   days  in  a  row.       This  could  be  an  indicator  of  forge`ulness  or  simply  a  sign   that  it  is  too  difficult  for  the  older  adult  to  load  and  unload   clothes  from  the  washing  machine  and  dryer.       Forge`ulness  is  one  of  the  many  early  signs  of  demen8a,   and  poor  hygiene  could  also  be  an  indica8on  that   depression  from  isola8on  could  be  a  concern.      
  • 14. Page 12 CHAPTER 6! Sign 4: Depression…   “Depression  affects  more  than  6.5  million   of  the  35  million  Americans  aged  65  years   or  older.  Depression  in  older  persons  is   closely  associated  with  dependency  and   disability  and  causes  great  suffering  for   the  individual  and  the  family.”   Na8onal  Alliance  on  Mental  Health  
  • 15. CHAPTER 6! Depression…! Page 13 If  your  parent  is  depressed,  you   may  observe  unusual  behavior,   or  a  general  change  in  their   normal  demeanor.         Symptoms  include:  lack  of  drive   or  mo8va8on,  failure  to  return   phone  calls,  or  they  just  don’t   “seem  like  themselves”.   Changes  in  ordinary  rou8nes  such  as  gardening  or  mee8ng   with  the  “bridge  club”  or  just  a  general  social  withdrawal  are   also  signs  of  depression  and  an  indicator  that  assistance  may   be  needed.     Many  families  think  depression  is  a  natural  reac8on  to  chronic   illness,  loss  and  social  transi8on  and  a  normal  part  of  aging.     It’s  impossible  to  ignore  that  the  elderly  face  remarkable   challenges  compared  to  any  other  stage  in  life.    OFen  living  in   isola8on  aFer  losing  a  spouse  or  out  living  their  friends,   siblings  and  some8mes  their  own  children.       It  is  important  to  get  help,  depression  decreases  the  quality  of   life,  and  many  8mes  can  be  successfully  treated.    
  • 16. Page 14 CHAPTER 7! Sign 5: Forgetfulness…   “ForgeLulness  can  be  a  normal   part  of  aging.  As  people  get  older,   changes  occur  in  all  parts  of  the   body,  including  the  brain.”     Na8onal  Ins8tute  on  Aging    
  • 17. CHAPTER 7! Forgetfulness…! Page 15 You  may  no8ce  one  or  more  of   the  following  warning  signs   indica8ng  cogni8ve  impairment;   forge`ulness  can  oFen  be  the   early  sign  of  developing   demen8a  or  Alzheimer’s  or   some  other  type  of  memory   impairment.     •  Consistent  memory  lapses   •  Confusion   •  Repe88ve  speech   •  Loss  of  ini8a8ve   •  Difficulty  performing  familiar  tasks   •  Frequently  misplacing  things   •  GeJng  lost  walking  or  driving   •  Unable  to  complete  a  sentence   •  Rapid  mood  swings  or  changes  in  behavior   •  Changes  in  personality   •  Cannot  recall  names  of  familiar  people  or  objects  
  • 18. Page 16 CHAPTER 8! Sign 6: Unopened Mail and ! Mishandled Finances…   A  more  difficult  sign  to  spot  and  a   potenJally  serious  issue  for  your   senior  is  neglected  financial  ma>ers.      
  • 19. CHAPTER 8! Unopened Mail and Mishandled Finances…! Page 17 Look  for  unopened  mail,   unpaid  bills,  payments   made  to  fraud  schemes,     bounced  checks,  or   inability  to  balance  a   checkbook.       In  the  early  stages  of   demen8a  a  senior  will   start  to  feel  easily   overwhelmed  by  the   contents  of  their  mail   and  will  even  lose  the   ability  to  do  simple   arithme8c.     As  their  ability  for  logical  thinking  declines  they  become   much  less  capable  of  assessing  risk  and  become  vulnerable   to  financial  scams.    OFen  an  early  sign  of  this  is  excessive   par8cipa8on  in  “sweepstakes”  types  of  mail  campaigns.          
  • 20. Page 18 CHAPTER 9! Sign 7: Missed Medications or Doctor Visits…   Drug  misuse  (and  abuse)     in  the  elderly  can  cause  cogniJve  and     physical  impairment—   puVng  this  populaJon  at  greater  risk  for  falls,     motor  vehicle  accidents,  making  them     generally  less  able  to  care  for  their  daily  needs  
  • 21. CHAPTER 9! Missed Medications or Doctor Visits…! Page 19 A  more  sure  way  is  to  monitor  the  quan8ty  of   medica8ons  on  hand  to  determine  if  too  few  (or  too   many)  pills  are  being  consumed.       Have  a  periodic  mee8ng  with  the  doctors  involved  to   see  if  appointments  are  being  kept  and  to  review  the   medica8ons  your  loved  one  is  taking.    This  is  also   helpful  to  determine  what  are  the  sign  and  symptoms   that  a  par8cular  medica8on  is  not  being  properly  taken.     Many  of  the  symptoms  of  misuse  (and  abuse)     mirror  common  signs  of  aging  in  general.     These  symptoms  may  obscure  diagnosing     a  substance  misuse  problem.  Some  of  these     percep8ons  include:   •  Memory  loss   •  Disorienta8on   •  Lack  of  balance   •  Shaky  hands   •  Mood  swings   •  Depression     •  Chronic  boredom  
  • 22. If  your  senior  is  exhibi8ng  any  of  the  signs  or  symptoms   men8oned  in  this  booklet,  call  us  to  schedule  a  free   assessment  of  their  needs.        We  can  show  you  what  your  care  op8ons   are  and  help  you  find  ways  to  make  it   affordable.   1  800  720  4608   GETTING  THE  ANSWERS   Request    A  Free   ConsultaJon