It’s not an easy decision by any means – for anyone involved. Those on the outside looking in must be sensitive to the dramatic impact that such a change means for the individual/couple to whom the recommendation is presented.
Ryan Malone of the Inside Elder Care blog outlines 3 common signs of functional decline in a recent post, which can serve as a practical guideline for assessing risks/weighing the benefits of senior care without making personal judgments that may be offensive or hurtful (which adds unnecessary strain to an already thorny process).
Here are the three major changes to look for, as per Malone:
- Physical changes (i.e. losing strength, stamina, muscle coordination and balance)
- Perceptual changes (i.e. changes in vision, hearing, taste and touch)
- Cognitive changes (i.e. memory loss, difficulty with problem-solving & language skills)
In the post, Malone also shares a list of symptoms/warning signs of functional decline, such as poor personal hygiene, repetitive questioning, confusion, misuse of medication, spoiled food, communication problems, personality changes, unpaid bills, and a disinterest in daily tasks, among others.
If you’re concerned about a loved one and feel it’s the right time to suggest senior care, consider these tips for addressing the issue in a respectful and caring manner.