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Published By Right at Home on June 12, 2009

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.

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