As we age, incremental levels of physical and mental decline is expected. The rate and level of decline can vary greatly from one person to another, but as time goes by, it can accelerate, making it harder for an aging senior to continue to live independently.
When this occurs, some sort of senior care may be required to ensure their health, overall well-being and safety. To best care for your senior loved one, being attentive and understanding what signs of decline to look for is important.
What To Look For Regarding Physical Decline
- Reduced mobility
- Poor posture
- Lack of coordination
- Labored breathing
- Poor balance
- Complaints of ongoing pain
- Signs of injury from a fall
What To Look For Regarding Cognitive Decline
- Mood swings
- Increased stress/anxiety
- Poor hygiene, self-care and housekeeping
Physical and cognitive decline can happen slowly and gradually, making it difficult to recognize when assistance with daily living and personal care is necessary. By keeping track of things your senior is having difficulty with will help you and them better understand the rate of decline – whether over six months, a year, or more. It’s also a good idea to communicate with family members, as some may notice signs of decline that others have missed. Conversations with your loved one is also vital. Knowing what they are thinking, how they feel and the trouble they’re having will make it easier to discuss next steps, if and when necessary. A helpful tip is to share a “cloud” document with family. Google cloud, Dropbox or the Notes app on an iPhone can be conveniently shared and easily contributed to by everyone in the shared group. Everyone connected will also be notified when someone updates the document.
It’s also a good idea to begin researching assisted living and memory care options. Take your time exploring homes and the levels of care available to find the best fit and care for your loved one. Again, note your findings, pros and cons of each so you have a valuable resource to reference as time goes by.
We’re dedicated to improving the lives of seniors and are standing by. Contact us to learn more about the senior care we provide, and to schedule a tour… seeing is believing how positive, comfortable and loving an assisted living / memory care home can be.