Assess When "Home Alone" May Be Unsafe

Posted by: Linus Oakes - Thursday, August 6, 2020

Nearly everyone begins slowing down as they age. When do you know it’s time to consider senior living options for your parent or other senior loved one?There are several warning signs that you may need to intervene. Keep an eye out for anything that might indicate a loved one may need help.

Ask these questions:

  1. Is their home as you remember it? If that’s unusual for them, a dirty home might signal they’re unable to keep up with everyday tasks.
  2. Does their vehicle have any new scratches and dents that may indicate they are no longer able to drive safely? If you hear about accidents or a ticket, gently suggest they start letting someone else take the driver’s seat.
  3. Do their clothes appear dirty or their appearance unkempt, such as unwashed hair or overgrown fingernails? Not grooming properly can be a sign of depression or physical impairment.
  4. Do you notice they have bruises, or have they mentioned a recent fall? Can they still climb the stairs and step into the bathtub without slipping? Balance issues can sometimes increase a senior’s fall risks.
  5. Do they appear to have lost or gained weight? Do they say they’re no longer hungry or have problems chewing food? Is their refrigerator properly stocked with healthy groceries, or is it mostly empty?
  6. Have they missed appointments, forgotten to pay bills on time, or bought the same item multiple times because they’ve forgotten they previously purchased it? Scorched pans or pots may signal they’ve forgotten and let something on the stove too long.
  7. Are they keeping up with their hobbies? Or, do they say they can no longer read because they’ve forgotten previous chapters, or they no longer want to join others in social activities? This could signal issues with incontinence, ill-fitting dental pieces or other things that may embarrass them to discuss.
  8. Is it sometimes hard to reach them because they no longer know how to work their phone or have no interest in talking?

If a senior living option might be needed, please contact a CHI Living Communities’ marketing director to see how we may be able to assist your loved one. We appreciate the opportunity to help you assess the situation and advise you accordingly.