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The early warning signs

Know The Signs

It’s not always easy to know when your loved one needs extra help at home. Whether you live nearby or far away, you may not recognize your family member’s need for assistance until something serious happens like an accident or fall.

The good news is that when you know what to look for, you can recognize the early warning signs before your loved one experiences a traumatic event. Small inconsistencies such as wearing the same outfit two days in a row, maintaining an unusually cluttered house, or forgetting to go grocery shopping can point to losses in mobility or comprehension.

Basic activities of daily living

Staying home is an option when the signs are recognized early and appropriate care is provided.  Waiting too long can mean more care is required, which can then limit your choices.

Whether your loved one is physically unable to keep up with household chores or simply in need of companionship, knowing what to look for can help them thrive at home in a positive and healthy environment. Below is a list of signs your aging loved one may need extra support with the basic activities of daily living.

Overall Health and Well-Being

  • Chronic illness
  • Recovering from an adverse event or procedure


  • Not taking medicines on schedule
  • Regularly missed doctors' appointments
  • Frequent late bill payments

Balance Issues

  • Pain when walking, siting, or rising from a resting position
  • Dragging feet when walking or appearing unsteady

Personal Hygiene

  • Wearing the same clothes for days at a time
  • Putting off showers
  • Lost interest in his/her appearance

Decline in Home Environment

  • Expired food in the refrigerator
  • Unopened mail
  • Laundry piling up
  • General clutter

Depression or Loneliness

  • Spending much of their time in front of the TV
  • Lost interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Exhibiting other signs of depression

In Home Non-Medical Care
Patient Centered Care
Transition of Care
Medicaid & SWCAA

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