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5 Subtle Signs Your Loved One Needs Home Care

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

As parents age, there are subtle signs they need help at home that adult children may miss. Since children aren’t with their aging parents every day, they should be alert to any signs of mental, physical or emotional changes that may be occurring when they come to visit. Home Care Assistance Sonoma offers these subtle signs your senior parent might need help around the home.

1. Less Concern About Personal Hygiene

Your mother may always have been fastidious about her personal appearance, but you notice more and more frequently she looks untidy or ungroomed. You may also notice that she is wearing the same clothes day after day. If her personal care habits have changed significantly, it could be an early sign of dementia or indicate depression.

2. Tickets for Bad Driving

Those tickets your senior relative received for driving outside his or her lane or running a stop sign may be more serious than you think. Fatal car crashes rise after the age of 70, and impaired vision or hearing and slowed motor reflexes can contribute to this. Take a closer look at the cause, and if necessary, tactfully suggest your loved one let others drive from now on.

3. Trouble Cooking Recipes

You may notice your senior loved one who has cooked all his or her life suddenly begins to forget key ingredients while in the kitchen. It may be something as simple as the coffee they serve suddenly tasting bland. This could be age-related memory loss or an early sign of dementia. Either way, if this happens regularly it could begin to affect other areas besides just cooking, so it will become increasingly important for them to get help at home from a live-in or part-time caregiver

4. Wavy Handwriting

Your loved one’s handwriting may begin to appear wavy. Hands may shake when he or she is holding a cup of tea or trying to write a note. Weakened motor control can also be seen in the limbs and can affect your loved one’s ability to navigate his or her home and climb stairs, increasing the potential for accidents or falls.

5. Difficulty Finding Words

This is not the occasional drop of a word or two from memory, rather frequently having trouble speaking and finding the correct words to say. He or she may even use a word in its place that doesn’t make sense. Although the inability to find words is not harmful in itself, it might indicate the onset of dementia.

It’s a good idea to check on seniors over the age of 70 more frequently, especially if they are living alone. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it may be time to hire a caregiver.

If you’d like to learn more about home care services available to your senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We specialize in hourly and live-in care for seniors and are the trusted provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Sonoma. Our expertly trained caregivers can assist with a wide range of daily tasks, including cooking, light housework, and transportation, and can provide safety monitoring, emotional support, and companionship. Call us today at (707) 843.4368 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.