Posted on Mar 19, 2012 | Comments (0)
As I'm writing this I have the windows open and a warm breeze blowing in. It is carrying pollen, of course, so my allergies will soon start acting up. But there's also the sound of birds as well as children playing floating on the breeze and through the window as well. Spring is definitely coming and I can't help but smile.
My mother always enjoyed spring. "Open all the windows, let the fresh air in," I remember her saying as I was growing up. It was when she got older and didn't care to do that anymore that I started to wonder if something was wrong. She lived alone. And after the change in her usual routine of opening the windows, I started to pay more attention to what she did and didn't do. After a few months, as I noticed more and more things being neglected, I realized there was a larger issue that needed to be addressed. Mom couldn't live alone anymore. That started me researching in-home care services for seniors as well as Meals on Wheels and other services. The more I talked with senior care specialists, the more I realized there were other signs confirming my conclusion.
- Dramatic changes in long standing routines- (opening the windows in the spring)
- Forgetfulness and confusion- Seniors can become very skilled at covering up confusion, turning mistakes into a joke or saying what happened is a slight mistake. Watch for trends!
- Neglected home- Do you notice the house getting trashy? Seniors can find everyday household chores overwhelming and especially difficult.
- Personal hygiene- Seniors who used to be well dressed and well groomed suddenly start neglecting things that used to be important because they find it overwhelming.
- Medications- Seniors have difficulty keeping track of medications, either forgetting to take them or overdosing and taking too many, creating an unnecessary risk and a potentially serious health problem.
This is just a short list of possible signs that a senior may need help and the signs are not always obvious. You have to look closely and it may take time. Be sure to talk with a medical professional and a senior care expert if you spot troubling warning signs. Meanwhile, open the windows and enjoy the spring and know there are professionals who can help you through a difficult time.