It’s vital that you learn to recognize the various symptoms of self-neglect in your senior’s behaviors. That’s going to help you to know when you need to step in and help her to take better care of herself.
Refusing to Take Practical Steps Toward Managing Health Issues
It’s frustrating when your elderly family member doesn’t take her health seriously. But if she’s actively avoiding taking medications that she needs in order to survive, she’s doing serious harm to herself. You may be able to convince her to change her mind, but it can feel like an uphill battle.
Difficulty Managing Simple Household Tasks
Simple household tasks, like keeping her home clean and tidy, is important from a safety standpoint but it’s also a way to keep up with how well your senior is doing overall. If she’s having trouble doing things like remembering to turn the stove off after using it, that’s a serious problem and means that she may be having more trouble than you realize.
Becoming Dehydrated More Often
Dehydration is not safe for your elderly family member. She can very easily develop serious medical issues from becoming dehydrated on a regular basis. On top of that, if she’s taking medications on a regular basis, she needs plenty of water to help her body to process those medications.
Deteriorating Personal Hygiene
Your senior’s ability to maintain her personal hygiene is very important in terms of her overall health. If she’s showing signs that she’s not washing her hair or her body as often as she should be, this is an important signal for you as her caregiver. Some smaller signs might include your senior choosing to wear sweaters in the middle of summer or shorts in the height of winter.
Showing Signs of Hoarding
Hoarding involves your senior beginning to collect items, either items that she deems valuable or even simply trash. The hoarded items eventually overwhelm your senior’s living space, making her home unsafe. There are usually triggers for hoarding, ranging from depression to the onset of dementia. If your loved one is having difficulty letting go of items or seems to be intent on filling up her home, that’s creating a situation of self-neglect.
One of the ways that you might be able to get a handle on your senior’s issues with self-neglect is to bring in senior care providers. They can help her to manage all of these concerns and more.