10 Warning Signs Your Senior Family Member May Need Help, Issued by HHS Eldercare Locator

Social Withdrawal & Other Changed Behaviors May be a Warning Sign Your Senior Loved One Needs Help (Image of Van Gogh's At Eternity's Gate courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)The Eldercare Locator, a service of the Administration on Aging, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), has issued a list of 10 Warning Signs Your Older Family Member May Need Help in the home.

“Any one of the following behaviors may indicate the need to take action. It is also important to inform the older adult’s physician of these physical or psychological behavior changes,” the Eldercare Locator states.

Here is the list of 10 warning signs which may indicate your loved one needs help:

  1. “Changed eating habits, resulting in losing weight, having no appetite, or missing meals?
  2. Neglected personal hygiene, including wearing dirty clothes and having body odor, bad breath, neglected nails and teeth, or sores on the skin?
  3. Neglected their home, with a noticeable change in cleanliness and sanitation?
  4. Exhibited inappropriate behavior, such as being unusually loud, quiet, paranoid, or agitated, or making phone calls at all hours?
  5. Changed relationship patterns, causing friends and neighbors to express concerns?
  6. Had physical problems, such as burns or injury marks, which may result from general weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or prescribed medications?
  7. Decreased or stopped participating in activities that were once important to them, such as bridge or a book club, dining with friends, or attending religious services?
  8. Exhibited forgetfulness, resulting in unopened mail, piling of newspapers, not filling their prescriptions, or missing appointments?
  9. Mishandled finances, such as not paying bills, losing money, paying bills twice or more, or hiding money?
  10. Made unusual purchases, such as buying more than one subscription to the same magazine, entering an unusually large number of contests, or increasing purchases from television advertisements?”

Elcercare Locator is a finder tool operated by the U.S. Administration on Aging to help you search for and find senior resources in your area — including home health care, long-term care, senior housing, nursing homes, health insurance, financial assistance, and other senior resources.

You can search for help by zip code, city and state, or by topic.

The Eldercare Locator website also provides links to other resources, including:

More Information

For more help in finding senior care resources and caregiver resources, see CareHelpFinder™, the HelpingYouCare® senior-care resource locator tools, including links to tools that help you:

For more practical tips, tools, skills, and checklists for family caregivers and seniors on these and other topics, see the HelpingYouCare® resource pages on Practical Tips, Skills, Checklists & Tools for Caregiving, including:

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