Signs Indicating a Need to Increase the Level of Care Provided

Learn about the various signs that may indicate a loved one needs more help in the home. From physical difficulties to financial struggles and cognitive changes, this guide covers a range of indicators to watch for.

Signs Indicating a Need to Increase the Level of Care Provided
Signs you need increased help in the home

By Diane (Your Life Care Advocate)

Identifying when additional assistance is required can greatly enhance the well-being of your loved ones. Here's a comprehensive checklist to help you recognize the signs that more support is necessary.

Physical Indicators

  1. Mobility Challenges: Noticeable difficulty with walking, possibly resorting to holding onto furniture or walls for stability.
  2. Frequent Falls: Experiencing repeated falls or unsteadiness, often resulting in visible bruises.
  3. Personal Hygiene Decline: Observing a decline in personal hygiene and grooming habits, such as wearing stained clothes, neglecting bathing, or not washing hair regularly.
  4. Altered Eating Patterns: Changes in eating habits like snacking only, decreased appetite, poor food choices, or forgetting to eat altogether. A refrigerator filled with expired or insufficient food may be apparent.
  5. Incontinence Issues: Starting to encounter problems with incontinence and maintaining personal hygiene.
  6. Unsafe Home Environment: Identifying potential hazards in the home, including poor lighting, cluttered pathways, or unrepaired damages. Broken or missing smoke detectors, lack of security, or leaving appliances on can also signal safety concerns.
  7. Weight Fluctuations: Noticing significant weight loss or gain that could indicate underlying health issues.
  8. Chronic Pain: Living with persistent pain that affects daily activities and quality of life.
  9. Substance Abuse: Displaying signs of alcohol or prescription drug abuse that require attention and intervention.

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Financial Indicators

  1. Unpaid Bills: Unattended bills or bills that are past due, suggesting potential difficulties in managing finances.
  2. Unopened Mail: Accumulated unopened mail indicating possible disorganization or difficulty in keeping up with responsibilities.
  3. Checkbook Management: Inability to effectively manage their checkbook and financial transactions.
  4. Money Handling Challenges: Struggling to handle money properly, such as making accurate financial decisions or budgeting effectively.
  5. Financial Vulnerability: Falling victim to scams or financial abuse, raising concerns about their ability to safeguard their assets.

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    Cognitive Signs

    1. Impaired Judgment: Displaying poor or decreased judgment in decision-making.
    2. Medication Management Issues: Struggling with coordination, monitoring, and proper adherence to various medications.
    3. Memory and Cognitive Decline: Exhibiting signs of forgetfulness, memory loss, or even experiencing paranoia.
    4. Spatial Disorientation: Getting lost in familiar surroundings or having difficulty finding their way back home.
    5. Appliance Neglect: Leaving appliances like stoves or refrigerators on, posing potential safety risks.
    6. Recognition Challenges: Facing difficulty in recognizing friends or family members, sometimes failing to remember them altogether.
    7. Medication Mismanagement: Forgetting to take medications or taking them improperly, impacting overall health management.
    8. Increasing Forgetfulness: Missing appointments, forgetting names, frequently misplacing items, or placing them in unconventional spots.
    9. Repetition: Repeating questions or stories multiple times during conversations.
    10. Aggressive Behavior: Exhibiting physical or verbal aggression, which could be uncharacteristic of their usual demeanor.
    11. Delusions and Hallucinations: Experiencing delusions or hallucinations, leading to a different perspective on reality or the development of false beliefs.
    12. Inappropriate Contact: Repeatedly contacting adult children or friends at inappropriate hours.

    Social and Emotional Indicators

    1. Social Isolation: Withdrawing from social interactions and activities, resulting in increased loneliness.
    2. Mood Changes: Noticing shifts in mood, including anger, suspicion, paranoia, or agitation.
    3. Depression and Loneliness: Exhibiting signs of depression, such as crying, lack of energy, changes in sleep patterns, and altered appetite.
    4. Loss of Interest: Displaying disinterest in previously enjoyed activities, possibly discontinuing participation in social, religious, or volunteer engagements.

    These are essential indicators that serve as cues for seeking additional assistance or augmenting the level of care provided at home.

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