My mother-in-law has a pillbox that can hold a week's worth of medication and has three separate compartments for each day (morning, noon and night dosages). We have programmed her cell phone to sound an alarm three times a day. When she opens the phone after the alarm sounds, there is a message that pops up reminding her to take her medication. She has to manually shut it off. We keep her cell phone attached to the charger in the same place on the kitchen counter. Thankfully this has worked for us.
Common destinations like the grocery store, the bank, or their church should be routine routes for your parent. If you find they can no longer find their way to these destinations, it's a big red flag that something is wrong. Gwyther explains that if you can no longer trust your loved one's ability to navigate their own town, it might be time to discuss moving into an assisted living facility for safety's sake.
A cluttered house isn't necessarily a bad sign if your parent was always a bit messy, explains Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, director of the Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute.
Dr. Lichtenberg is a national expert in financial capacity assessment and financial exploitation of older adults. He has published articles on psychological vulnerability and fraud and on his new instrument the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Making Rating Scale. He is currently engaged with colleagues from multiple disciplines in examining the validity of his new scale, a screening scale and an informant scale. He has conducted independent medical evaluations and expert witness work over 75 times in the past 10 years on issues related to older adults and capacity.
However, if they suddenly begin letting order slide after a lifetime of cleanliness, it might be a sign of an underlying cognitive issue. Additionally, watch out for items showing up in strange places around the home, like a gallon of milk in the dishwasher instead of the refrigerator. According to Dr. Lichtenberg, changes like these are often some of the clearest signs of dementia, and they could be a clue that your loved one is no longer in a position where it's safe to be home alone.
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My hubby won't even try to use the new telephone we have, with a button to turn it on and one to turn it off.He prefers the old one...also the same sort of buttons,but he is adamant about not using the new one. He has only morning and night pills but I can't trust him to take them if I left them out for him. He has to have me to remind him. Now, he has to take eye drops, one kind is 5 times a day and one is 3. There are 3 times when the two drops are taken at the same time. He is always surprised that it is time for drops, questions why he has to take two, or only has to take one, each time...and at times, says he has had enough, he needs no more. He will not even listen to me when I remind him the eye dr. said don't go into sunlight without sun glasses....he just goes out in the bright sun and reads... Pills and drops can be a pain for caregivers...also following some sort of so called "orders." Charlotte
Towering heaps of unopened mail can be another clear indication of growing cognitive impairment. Gwyther says to keep a close eye out for unopened envelopes from creditors or charities your parents wouldn't normally donate to. This can be a red flag that they've lost control of their judgment when it comes to smart spending, which can drive them into debt rapidly if it goes unnoticed.
Raising the subject of moving to a residential care facility can be a hard conversation to have with aging parents, but sometimes, it's the only way to keep them safe and healthy. These are the signs that suggest it's time.If you notice your parent is looking thinner than usual, it may be a sign that they're not eating well, which could be a sign of the beginning of a cognitive illness.. Individuals suffering from a memory impairment, such asAlzheimer's, often either forget to eat certain meals or forget how to properly manage and cook their food, causing them to lose weight. If this is the case, you might want to discuss the possibility of moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, where you can feel confident that they will receive all of their nutrients each day.
For someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, remembering all of the cognitive steps involved with taking a shower every day isn't always the no-brainer you believe it to be. It may be difficult for them to understand why they need to take a shower and how to do it, leaving them with an unhealthy hygiene routine. ''You can tell them that it looks like they need a shower, but they just don't see it,' Gwyther says. That said, not all grooming practices are essential—here's what you can let go.