It’s been a while since you’ve seen some of your loved ones, and there are many reasons why that may be. The pandemic has been a major factor in keeping our distance over the past couple of years. With the holidays coming, and the pandemic seemingly under some control, more people are getting together this year. As a result, you might notice your elderly loved ones are a little different than you recall. It can be hard to know when to start the conversation, but there are signs you can watch for.
- Social Life
It’s important to notice if your loved one loses interest in activities they usually enjoy. Are they quiet and not participating as usual? Do they have friends, or are they alone most of the time? You can find out by asking them about their friends. Not having people to interact with at least a few times a week can start to have negative mental effects on senior health.
While it may not be a major difference in their look, you should still take note of small changes. Things like grooming or clothing choices. Are they bathing less? Are they wearing smelly or dirty clothes? Look at how their clothes fit or review recent pictures to help identify weight changes. All these things can be signs of an underlying issue, like cognitive decline or depression. It might also mean that your loved one needs physical help with laundry or getting dressed.
How does their space look? The fridge is another place to look, is it empty or full of spoiled foods? Are the dishes piling up? An untidy home can be a fall hazard. When a loved one is struggling with health issues, cleaning may be the last thing on their list. As a result, they don’t realize the condition of their apartment or home. Things like newspapers, mail, and dust can begin to pile up.
It can be difficult to tell if your loved one is going through a rough patch or something more serious. Often seniors feel that they’re being a burden and would rather not reach out. When you visit, keep an eye out for even the slightest difference and discuss it with other family members. Once you’ve expressed your concerns, you may decide as a family that your aging loved one needs more help than they can provide.
If you’d like to learn more or are considering a nursing home or assisted living for a loved one in northern NJ, The Little Nursing Home of Montclair offers a cozy and calm atmosphere with the comforts of home. Call or email us for more info to schedule a tour.