The following are some warning signs that your loved one’s caregiving needs are changing.
- Changing relationships with others/withdrawal from social interactions.
- Unusual behavior, such as being overly quiet, loud or agitated.
- Neglecting personal care, including hygiene and nutrition.
- Signs of forgetfulness such as piles of newspapers, unopened mail and scorched pans.
- Mismanaging finances, not paying bills or making unusual purchases.
- Not keeping up with household chores.
What can you do when warning signs appear?
- Do not be afraid to seek or accept assistance. There are many free or economical public and private services for adult caregivers seeking a respite from providing continuous care.
- Talk with your loved one to find out what they need and what they will accept.
- During your visits, watch for warning signs of declining abilities, such as changes in grooming, eating, or social activities.
- If you notice what appears to be a decline in thinking and reasoning, you might want to ask a physician to “test” your loved one for cognitive function.
- Buy a workbook to organize information. Keep track of your loved one’s medical condition and perscription drug information.
- Establish a network of support (friends, relatives, neighbors, and physicians), and keep in touch.