Senior Wellness: When is extra help needed?

When our loved ones are struggling, we need to recognize the changes that are taking place.

The holidays are a time where many families get together where they may not have seen each other for quite some time.

During these visits, family members may notice some changes in their loved one’s functioning at home. They may begin to see that the person needs more physical assistance around the home.

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A loved one could need help with cleaning or running errands. If the house is in more disorder than usual this could be a sign of needing more help. Other times, there may be a change in appearance that shows you the person needs some extra help with personal care. Other indicators of possible changes and the need for extra help could include the person having difficulty managing their finances or medications, seeming more forgetful or confused, or even them expressing to a family member that something is different than before.

Communication is very important and is a key factor in determining what steps should be taken for a loved one when they are struggling. Though it may be difficult, it is very beneficial to bring up concerns to the family member. There are times when something medical is going on that requires the attention of a doctor; this may resolve the issue or concern. If help appears to be an ongoing need, it is important to involve the person to see what they may want for themselves.

Area Agency on Aging is considered a source for seniors and can help by providing a number of resources for community agencies that can benefit both the individual and the caregiver. We encourage people to be proactive and call our agency to learn about all of the resources that could benefit their unique situation. Area Agency on Aging offers different in-home care programs as well as a social work consultation when individuals and families need more help coming up with a plan to find assistance. Anyone is encouraged to call Area Agency on Aging, whether they are calling for themselves or on behalf of a loved one.