What Are the Top Signs of Self-Neglect in Seniors?

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As your senior loved one ages, it’s important to pay attention to his or her self-care. Many seniors reach a point, due to physical and mental health problems, where they’re no longer able to care for themselves. Elder self-neglect is a term used when seniors aren’t able to meet their daily needs. Being aware of the signs of self-neglect can let you know when to step in and help.

Physical Injuries

Unexplained bruises, scratches, burns and/or scrapes on the skin can be signs that your loved one isn’t getting around easily. Your loved one may leave things out that could cause him or her to trip, forget cupboards are open and bump into them, or become injured while doing yard work. Help your loved one remove tripping and slipping hazards from the home, and consider installing safety devices that could keep him or her safe.

Expired or Full Medications

When visiting your loved one’s home, take a peek into the medicine cabinet. Full medications that have been on the shelf for more than 30 days could be a sign your loved one isn’t taking the medications as prescribed. Expired or empty bottles may mean he or she isn’t able to refill the prescriptions or has forgotten to visit the doctor to get them refilled. 

Regularly taking medications is critical for managing chronic conditions. Schedule regular doctor appointments for your loved one, and arrange for transportation. Prescription delivery services may be helpful if your loved one isn’t able to get to the pharmacy regularly.

Running errands and providing transportation to medical appointments are just two of the many services a home caregiver can provide for your loved one. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional homecare. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Home Negligence

You may notice your loved one’s once-pristine home has become cluttered or dirty. It can be shocking to visit and see dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs all over the floor, and an unkempt yard. More serious signs of home negligence may include broken appliances or house damage. 

Keeping up with the home can be a lot of work and may be difficult for your loved one. Try to help your parent fix the home, or consider moving him or her to a community where a maintenance staff can help.

Lack of Food in the Home

It’s also a good idea to peek into your loved one’s cupboards when you visit. Make sure there’s an ample supply of both dry goods and fresh foods in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. If your loved one isn’t able to shop and cook independently, you may also notice he or she has lost weight. 

Your loved one needs to eat regularly to get the nutrients necessary for good health. Shop for your loved one and prepare some simple meals that can be quickly heated in the microwave. Food delivery services may also be helpful.

If your loved one needs help shopping for groceries and preparing healthy meals, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. For families living in Kennebunk, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Align Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Poor Personal Hygiene

You might notice your loved one is wearing soiled clothing, has dirty hair or nails, or smells bad if he or she isn’t keeping up with personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is essential to staying healthy. Consider hiring a home caregiver to help your loved one with personal hygiene tasks such as brushing teeth, bathing, and putting lotion on the skin. 

A home caregiver can help your loved one live at home in safety and comfort. In Kennebunk, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Align Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call Align Home Care today at (207) 606-8419 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.


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