In order for older adults to thrive and enjoy their golden years, they need to maintain a sense of independence and freedom. Unfortunately, there may come a point in time when personal safety outweighs these which makes it crucial for them to move in with a family member or into a retirement community. If you have parents living alone and are wondering if it is still safe for them to do so, here are some signs you can look out for.
Sudden Weight Loss
Proper nutrition is especially important for older adults, making it a huge concern when they start losing weight rapidly or appear malnourished. These may be signs that the older individual is not eating properly or is facing issues with shopping for groceries or cooking for themselves.
Stacks of unpaid bills and unopened mail are the best indicator of financial problems. You may help with these for the short term but a long-term inability to stay on top of mails and bills is a red flag that may indicate that the older individual is struggling to manage their day-to-day tasks.
Ignoring Personal Grooming
Many older adults struggle to shower and groom themselves. These are the two main reasons for moving to a retirement community. It is easy to detect when an older loved one does not shower regularly. However, you should also pay attention to their clothing and dental health.
Deteriorating Living Conditions
Taking care of daily chores and maintaining the house can be a great challenge for older adults. Fortunately, it is typically easy to bring in help. When outside help is not feasible, it may be time to consider relocating to a retirement community. Residents of a retirement community can enjoy on-site amenities that include housekeeping, repairs and maintenance, daily cooking, and laundry services. It is important for you to look out for deteriorating living conditions that can eventually pose safety hazards. If you find yourself tripping over things in their house like loose carpeting, unsecured cables, and more, chances are your older loved one will too.
Having a poor vision can cause problems whether you are at home or out and about running errands. It can lead to injuries sustained at home or outside and may cause serious accidents especially if the older loved one needs to drive to get to places.
Poor Medication Management
When an older adult is not taking their medication, this is a red flag that can go both ways. They may be forgetting about their prescription or they simply refuse to take it. Older adults who are living with sickness must always manage their medication correctly to prevent over-medicating. Not taking their prescription is equally dangerous. To detect this potential problem, keep an eye out on their medicine cabinet and watch if its contents increase or decrease according to prescription.
It is important for older adults to stay socially active. This can help to prevent loneliness and feelings of isolation or even depression. If your older loved one does not have enough socialization opportunities within their neighborhood, they can enjoy meeting new friends and participating in various activities in a retirement community.