Watch for these 14 warning signs that your loved one needs additional help. As a first step, consult a physician to determine whether a treatable health condition is responsible for changes in behavior.
1. Bills are not being paid on time, overdue or in collections. You may find bills ready to be mailed—but they never made it to the mailbox.
2. Personal hygiene is lacking, clothing is being worn multiple times without washing. Hair is not combed or combed only in the front.
3. Spoiled food is not thrown away; dishes are undone, mail is piling up and general feeling of uncleanliness.
4. Poor diet and weight loss. Watch for signs of increased alcohol consumption.
5. Losing track of medications: forgetting to take them or taking too large of a dose.
6. Gets lost when driving, has traffic tickets or minor scrapes and dents to the car.
7. Social withdrawal, lack of interest in hobbies, activities or even leaving the house.
8. Falls or trips more frequently.
9. Necessary household repairs are not done.
10. Forgets tasks like turning off the stove.
11. Increased reliance on memory aids like reminder notes.
12. Family members called more frequently for assistance with formerly routine tasks.
13. May make poor decisions, giving away money or personal possessions, engaging with telephone solicitors.
14. Changes in mood or personality, changes in sleep patterns.