Red Flags Deserve Attention

Red Flags need to be recognized first. People tend to deny problems when they arise, hoping they will go away on their own. If you notice a few of these things with your aging parent, it is worthwhile to have an assessment. Attention to matters with regard to an aging mother or father matter especially when a parent lives alone. Observe how they walk, their balance and whether or not they have fallen in the last six months to a year.  Also observe their driving. Do you feel safe in the car with your parent driving?  Check their refrigerator for spoiled food.  The signs are there if you look.

Red Flags may be a passing reaction to an event in their life or a signal that there is something wrong which needs to be addressed. We will all need some help in the home in our lives. Denial does not make things better.

Have You Noticed these Red Flags?

  • Mail piling up
  • Notices of missed payments
  • Missed appointments,
  • Confusion or memory lapses
  • Not taking medications properly
  • Hygiene issues
  • Stained clothing
  • Change in social habits
  • Dings or dents on the car
  • Even a feeling that something is wrong

Red Flags for Home CareIf your loved one has been recently discharged from a hospital or Rehab Center, they are not back to themselves at first. Again, if they live alone or do not have family nearby, you may consider adding help for a week or so. Until they get back to their full strength, if they do, a little help goes a long way for their well- being and safety as well as your peace of mind. That first week home will be consumed with Medicare visits and outing to doctor appointments.  A lot of valuable information will be delivered.  Will they be able to absorb and follow medical instructions and possibly new medications or treatments?

FInding Help

There is a lot of help around, again you need to know what to look for. You may start with their primary doctor, a Geriatric Care Manager, the City, or State, a licensed Home Care company or a good Senior Center. There is always Google which can get you to specific assistance and care in their own back yard.