Signs a Senior Needs Help

Appearance

  • Looking worse for the wear. Is there noticeable weight loss? Are they overly frail? Has their dental hygiene decreased or are they not wearing their dentures? Is their hair unkempt?
  • Unpleasant body odor. Are they not bathing or showering enough? Can they maneuver in and out of the bathtub or shower easily? Have they slipped or fallen in the shower?
  • Wardrobe malfunctions. Do they have trouble dressing? Are zippers zipped, and buttons buttoned? Is their clothing stained or torn?  Is makeup misapplied?

Physical Condition

  • Impairment or Disease. Can they manage their health situation on their own? Do they schedule and go to doctor’s appointments to keep their condition under control? How are their vision and hearing?
  • Medications. Are they taking their medications correctly? Are medications expired? Are they forgetting to refill medications?
  • Physical limitations. Are they unable or unwilling to walk long distances or down staircases? Are they unsteady on their feet?
  • Poor locomotion. Do they have difficulty moving from one place to another, like from the bed to a chair? Can they get up from a seated or lying down position?
  • Unexplained bruises. Have they fallen or crashed into objects to prevent a fall?

Mental Health

  • Personality changes. Do they seem depressed? Are their moods extreme? Do they appear confused, unsettled, or angry?
  • Are they missing appointments or planned activities? Do they experience uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks? Are they suffering from dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s?
  • Are they withdrawing from the world? Have their friends died or moved away? Are they forgoing social outings with friends or skipping church services? Are they afraid or unable to drive a car or use public transportation?
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities. Are they still physically and mentally capable of participating in their favorite pastime?

Eating and Cooking Habits

  • Noticeable change in diet. Have they switched from cooking to buying unhealthy convenience foods? Are they able to follow recipes or preparation instructions? Are they skipping meals?
  • Spoiled food. Are they forgetting to throw food away? Are trash cans being emptied and sinks and counters kept clean?
  • Stove or oven mishaps. Are they frequently burning themselves while cooking? Are pots and pans scorched from being left on the stove?

Home Environment

  • A dirty house. Are the carpets stained from spilled food and drink? Is there an extreme amount of clutter? Is dirty laundry piling up? Is there a pest infestation?
  • Neglected mail. Is the mailbox overflowing or piles of unopened letter lying around? Are they receiving late payment notices, overdraft notices and calls from bill collectors?
  • Dead houseplants. Are they chronically forgetting to water plants or throw dead flowers away?
  • Unexplained dents and scratches on the car. Are they able to drive safely?
  • Unmaintained yard and buildings. Are they able to care for their property? Are they able to hire others to help them with maintenance, lawn care or snow shoveling?

Loved Ones

  • Frazzled relatives. Is the level of care and time that a senior needs more than family members can handle? Do the caregivers continuously feel overwhelmed and stressed out?
  • Distressed pets. Are pets being neglected? Are they being cleaned up after?
  • Concerned friends and neighbors. Are their friends and acquaintances worried about them? Have they witnessed strange incidents or behavior?