AlzU Blog

Signs Your Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease may Need Home Care Assistance

Asking for help is not always easy for any of us, particularly for seniors.  Many older people have a sense of pride that can make asking the younger generation for assistance a real challenge.  In some instances, the family must step in and decide when help is needed for their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  But, how do you know for sure, just when a higher level of care(such as home care assistance), is really needed?  Here are some tips to help family members evaluate when their loved one needs help with daily living tasks:

-Changes in physical functioning (such as challenges getting dressed)
-Changes in mental status (such as disorientation to person, place or time)
-Difficulty keeping track of time
-Getting lost in familiar places (wandering)
-Sleeping during inappropriate hours (such as mostly daytime hours)
-Poor diet (refusing to eat or drink or inability to prepare food)
-Unexplained weight loss
-Loss of interest in hobbies and activities once enjoyed
-Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
-Difficulty getting up independently from a seated or lying position
-Difficulty walking, unbalanced, or problems with normal mobility
-Injuries or bruising that is unexplained
-Confusion when performing tasks that have historically been familiar (such as using the stove)
-Signs that door jams, walls or furniture are used to help with stability when ambulating
-Forgetting to take medications, or unsure of the correct dose
-Forgetting medical (or other) appointments
-Judgement consistently becoming worse (such as falling for sales scams)
-Dirty or cluttered home(particularly when the person was known for having a clean house)
-Neglecting tasks such as grocery shopping
-Little or no food in the refrigerator
-Laundry or dishes piling up
-Unusual amount of dirt or stains on carpet or furniture
-Stacks of mail that is unopened or remains in the mailbox
-Late notices for bills that are due
-Spoiled food sitting around
-Accumulation of food in the refrigerator that is not being eaten
-Garbage piling up
-Utilities turned off due to missed payments
-Bounced checks, late payment notices, or bill collectors calling
-Unexplained dents and scratches on the car

These are red flags indicating that your loved one requires some support and help with meeting his/her daily needs.  These clues should be taken seriously and a home care assessment should be performed by a professional to evaluate just how much support is required.  It may be that your loved one simply needs someone to help with the cleaning, shopping and/or preparing meals.  In other instances (such as challenges with mobility or wandering) a person with Alzheimer’s disease may require 24/7 care.

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