The first time you see signs that your aging loved one needs help at home you might experience a painful tug at your heart.  Maybe your mother was always well groomed… now you notice she’s wearing clothes splattered with food stains.  Or perhaps you see that she’s consistently losing weight.  You fear that she’s not eating regularly.  And your fears may be well grounded.

A stroke, surgery or a serious fall may dictate the need for immediate care. When such a health crisis occurs, the need for help is obvious.  Usually the one who needs care does not object and they welcome help around the house.

However, unlike a serious health crisis, your loved one may be slowly declining in their ability to care for themselves -sometimes in ways that imperceptible.

In other situations, it may be difficult for you to accept that your aging loved one can no longer care for themselves.  It’s hard to accept that our loved ones are no longer the vibrant self-sufficient spirits they used to be.

Here are 10 warning signs that might indicate your loved one needs help around the house.

  • Spoiled food on counters or in the refrigerator
  • Becoming less social; loss of interest in activities
  • Unpleasant body odor; infrequent showering and bathing
  • Sloppy appearance. (Wearing the same clothes; food stains on their clothes; hair uncombed)
  • Unexplained bruising (Have they fallen? Do they have trouble cooking?)
  • Difficulty with walking or balance (How easily can they get up from a chair?)
  • Dirty house; laundry piling up; stacks of unopened mail
  • Unexplained dents and/or large scratches on the car
  • Missing important appointments
  • Significant weight gain or significant weight loss