Signs That Loved Ones May Need More Help

Signs That Loved Ones May Need More HelpNo one knows your parents or loved ones as you do – so you will likely be one of the first to notice any decline in them that may warrant bringing in a caregiver. If you don’t live nearby, you may have missed specific hints over the past year that more help was starting to be needed. That can be remedied if you see your loved ones over the holidays. ‘Tis is the season to be on the lookout for common warning signs that may signal trouble:

Physical Appearances

When you visit your parents at home, is their house dirty, cluttered, or more disorganized than usual? Do you notice that essential household items (such as smoke alarms or broken lightbulbs) are not being addressed or that trash is piling up? Are they wearing dirty clothes or do they seem cluttered? Does their hygiene (bad breath or body odor) suddenly leave much to be desired? Do you see new dents or dings on their car? Answering yes to any of these is a red flag.


When your loved ones get calls from collections, bounced checks, or late payment notices, it’s time to take notice. If they start misplacing their keys or wallet – or even worse, forgetting to take medications – it’s probably time to get help. It’s equally important to be sure they’re not missing any necessary appointments and that they’re still able to keep track of time. Monitor whether they suddenly seem uncertain about completing daily tasks like laundry, vacuuming, or washing dishes. Make sure they are opening their mail regularly. Monitor whether they remember to eat periodically, whether their shelves are stocked with healthy food, and whether they remember to throw out expired food. Look into any failure to return phone calls to friends and family members.

Emotional Changes

Be on the lookout for changes in attitudes, agitation, or extreme mood swings. If you see that your loved one seems to be feeling depressed or has little energy, start asking some questions. Pay attention if they seem to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed or no longer seem to have any drive or motivation.

Decline in Health

Take note if you start noticing sudden unexplained weight loss or observe poor dieting habits (such as only eating prepackaged foods). If your loved one struggles to stand or finds it challenging to sit down, that’s a sign that help may be needed. Watch for changes in sleeping patterns, such as sleeping all day. The appearance of frequent injuries, bruises, scratches, or cuts without any explanation is another reason for concern. If your parent is suddenly having difficulty performing activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, or toileting, it is time for more assistance.

Our aging loved ones want to remain in control of their lives for as long as possible. After all, nobody likes losing independence! It is not easy to admit the need for help, so it’s usually the responsibility of family members to recognize the signs that a loved one might need more support. By regularly monitoring your parents’ physical and mental abilities and looking into your options for when they do need more help, you will be better prepared when the time comes to step in with assistance.

If you need daily supportive care for your loved one, we at Cahoon Care would happily talk with you. By hiring help at home, your elderly parent can stay in the comfort of their home for as long as is safely possible.