Warning signs When Visiting Your Aging Parents

The holidays are approaching. Many adult children will spend
time with their elder loved ones. Many are traveling near or far, but these
visits oftentimes reveal that their loved one is struggling.

Here are some warning signs, what many in the business call
"red flags" such as the following:

1. Environment: Does it looked maintained or is it in
disrepair? Is trash accumulating? Does it smell of urine or feces?

2. Food: Is there adequate food? Any spoiled food present?
Do you notice weight loss or do you suspect that your loved one is skipping
meals or not eating a nutritious diet?

3. Mood or behavior: Do you notice your loved one constantly
repeating things? Are you noticing increased confusion? Are you hearing from
their friends that something has changed? Are they having difficulty carrying
on an extended conversation? Are they showing irritability or apathy? Are they
reporting difficulty sleeping?

4. Routine: Do you notice stacks of unopened mail? Are bills
not getting paid? Are medications being taken? Are prescriptions not being
refilled? Are medical appointments being missed or follow-ups not being made?

5. Personal Hygiene: Are you noticing your loved one is
unkempt, not dressing during the day like they used to; not showering and
wearing dirty clothing when they do get dressed? Do you notice bruises that may
indicate they have had falls?


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