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How can I tell if a senior loved one needs help?

Growing old can be difficult, especially for seniors who live independently. In this case, family members must be able to identify when a loved one needs additional help, either due to cognitive impairments or because of mobility issues. AARP offers the following advice in this case, which can help you help your elderly relative secure the assistance he or she needs to stay safe.

Documents or bills are left unaddressed

Keeping financial matters in check can be tough for many people. For those experiencing issues related to dementia or Alzheimer’s, it can be all but impossible. If you have concerns, look for unopened bills or other essential documents scattered around your loved one’s home. Also, make sure estate planning documents are up-to-date in this case, including things like wills and advanced healthcare directives.

You relative is becoming more isolated

Social interaction is crucial for both mental and physical health. If you notice your loved one is becoming more and more isolated, it may be time to step in. If your relative lacks a solid social support network, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. This person will be able to support your loved one by helping out with everyday chores while also providing some much-needed companionship. A caregiver can also take some of the burden off you and your family when it comes to seeing to your loved one’s needs.

Physical injuries are more common

If physical ability is impaired, seniors will have a harder time getting around their homes. This can result in an increased rate of injuries, which can be minor cuts and bruises or serious sprains and fractures. Help your loved one by clearing out their home of clutter, which can decrease the risk of falling injuries. You can also take steps to safeguard the person’s living space, such as by adding grip bars in the bathroom, installing non-stick flooring, and increasing the amount of lighting in the home. 

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