With aging parents it may become apparent that they could be unsafe living alone without any assistance or someone checking up on them. It can be fairly difficult to understand the differences amongst age-related confusion, normal occurrences or something that may be much more serious. There are several different signs that can help you better understand if your elder loved one is ok to be living at home or if they need to begin the transition to an assisted living program. These signs not only will help you understand but they are also great precaution and warning signs that may lead to different diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the signs your elderly parent may be unsafe living alone:
- Car damage such as dents, scrapes, scratches and poor upkeep. Many times when there is an increase in scratches and they cannot recall the even it may mean they are no longer safe behind the wheel and should use other ways of transportation.
- Receiving bruises and not knowing where they came from. This could be a sign of frequent falling, tripping and could become a worse problem if not dealt with.
- Pan scorching may seem a mistake but if many of their pans seem to have scorching it may be because they forget they are cooking food. The outcome of this can be a worse hazard to not only themselves but neighbors as well.
- Not the proper nutrition can be seen by an increase or decrease in weight, loss of appetite and not wanting to cook for them because of the difficulty it presents.
- Noticing there is spoiled food in the refrigerator may mean they are leaving food out or keeping food after the “sell by” or “expiration date”. This can lead to sickness such as food poisoning.
- Many times you may notice that there are unpaid bills and unopened mail or neglect to household chores such as cleaning or laundry.
- Being paranoid and making inacurrate assertions such as saying untrue statements like “The news is talking about me” or “There are always people in the kitchen”.
- Having aggression towards others because they have the feeling of being attacked either physically or verbally.
- Sometimes elders will write checks for bills they do not have or charities that they make up on the spot. This may be because they are attempting normal everyday things but do not have the correct judgment.
- One of the biggest warning signs is slurring words or using words that are inappropriate for what they are saying.
- Another sign that is fairly common is memory loss. There are different types of memory loss such as benign and malignant.
- Easily become confused or disoriented when they are in a familiar place. This may lead to wandering and getting loss which can become a tragic situation in itself.
- Paying attention to their hygiene such as odor, incontinence, grooming and dressing appropriately for the weather.