5 signs that an elderly loved one might need help  

5 signs that an elderly loved one might need help  

As our elderly loved ones get older, it’s important to pay close attention to their well-being. Sometimes, they may not openly express their needs or difficulties, so it’s essential to be mindful of subtle indicators that they might need some additional support.  

Accepting assistance can be quite challenging for senior people, because as we age, we often shy away from change and may not want to feel like we’re imposing on their families. However, being open to these adjustments and navigating them together can go a long way in preserving their independence and overall well-being. 

In this blog, we cover five key indications that your elderly loved one may need some extra support either in themself or around their home.  

Things to look out for: 

Neglecting personal hygiene 

One of the earliest signs that an elderly person may need help is a noticeable decline in personal hygiene and appearance. If your loved one, who was once meticulous about their appearance, starts neglecting bathing, wearing clean clothes, or maintaining their hair and nails, it could indicate that they are struggling with daily activities. These changes might result from physical limitations, cognitive decline, or depression.  

To start to support your loved one with their personal care is a big step and a boundary that lots of people do not feel comfortable crossing. A home care provider such as Birchwood Care Services can help alleviate any potential self-consciousness around conversations regarding personal hygiene, whilst providing the support they need.  

Untidy homes or ignored chores 

In our daily lives, small things can make a big difference. An untouched laundry pile, dirty dishes in the sink, and footprints on the floor can all potentially indicate that housework has become overwhelming. 

As daily tasks become more tiring with age, we may no longer prioritise maintaining a clean and organised home. An untidy house with neglected chores is often a clear sign that we may need assistance. 

To help, consider offering help with specific tasks, such as cleaning or organising a room together, making workloads less overwhelming and more manageable. At Birchwood Care Services, we can arrange regular cleaning services to maintain a tidy environment for your elderly loved one. Additionally, we can support them with meal preparation, pet walking, and overall comprehensive home care services, ensuring they can live comfortably, independently and safely in their home. 

Physical changes of mobility 

Make sure you prioritise your loved one’s mobility and physical well-being. If they experience frequent falls, struggle to get up from a seated position, or seem unsteady while walking, it could be a sign of underlying health concerns. It’s important to pay attention to any bruises or injuries that may indicate recent falls or accidents. Addressing mobility issues is crucial in preventing a decline in overall health and reducing the risk of serious injuries, emphasising the need to provide support and assistance.  

Unpaid bills and difficulty managing finances 

It’s important to be mindful of unpaid or mishandled bills when it comes to our ageing loved ones. Keep an eye out for any difficulties they may be having with their finances, such as unpaid bills, overdue notices, or unusual spending habits. Cognitive decline can make handling finances challenging, leading to forgotten payments or susceptibility to scams. It’s vital to regularly assess their financial status to ensure they are not experiencing undue stress or being taken advantage of financially. 

Social Withdrawal and Isolation 

Changes in social activities or a loss of interest in hobbies by an elderly loved one could indicate emotional or physical challenges. Isolation can worsen feelings of loneliness and depression, negatively affecting our mental health. Consider encouraging social interaction and exploring the possibility of arranging companionship or community activities to help them stay engaged and emotionally supported. 

Recognising these signs early can make a huge difference in the quality of life for your elderly loved one. It’s important to approach these issues with sensitivity and compassion, ensuring they feel supported rather than overwhelmed. Engaging in open conversations about their needs and exploring available resources, such as assisted living, can help them maintain their dignity and independence while receiving the necessary support. 

Learn more about our Birchwood Care Services here. 

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