| Tue, Dec 18, 2018 @ 08:00 AM

How to Spot Signs of Decline in an Aging Loved One

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Signs of decline in an aging loved one can be easy to miss. Changes may be subtle and come on gradually. And sometimes it’s hard to see what we don’t want to see.

Holidays and other occasions offer a great opportunity to pay extra attention to your loved one’s appearance and behavior. Information and cognitive test results from your loved one’s Medicare Wellness Visit as well as an annual depression screening can also help you stay on top of your loved one’s needs.

When looking for signs of decline in a loved one’s health and wellness, focus on these five areas: physical, household, emotional, social and cognitive.

 

Physical

  • Inactivity or weakness, like difficulty using stairs or getting up from a chair
  • Changes in appearance or hygiene, such as stained clothing or unwashed hair
  • Recent falls

Household

  • Chores left undone, like dishes, laundry or bills
  • Changes in housekeeping, stained carpets, messes not cleaned up
  • No food or spoiled food in the fridge

Emotional

  • Malaise or lack of interest
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability or changes in mood

Social

  • Spending less time with friends and family
  • Skipping events or gatherings
  • Isolation, lack of close ties to friends or community

Cognitive

  • Forgetfulness, missing appointments or important events
  • Overwhelmed by tasks, decisions or instructions
  • Confusion, losing track in conversation

 

The Bottom Line

It can be difficult to see age-related changes in your loved one, but early recognition may make these easier to manage as time goes on. Information and cognitive test results from your loved one’s Medicare Wellness Visit as well as an annual depression screening can also help you stay on top of your loved one’s needs.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.