You are not doctors, but as your parents grow older you can watch for obvious warning signs:
Difficulty with daily activities, memory problems, trouble with banking and finances, multiple falls, problems with driving; forgetting medications. When you develop a Care Plan, informally or with a geriatric care manager, you will arrange help (assign tasks or hire help) based on ADL's and IADLs deficiencies.
Hygiene: Poor self-care and bathing habits are often signs that health is declining.
Nutrition: Weight loss and spoiled food indicate poor nutrition.
Household: Unpaid bills, unanswered mail, unwashed dishes show decline.
General Health/Signs of Injury Mom or Dad has clearly fallen or bumped their head.
Disorientation Mom or Dad don't know what day it is, can’t find the right words, lose their way. Forgets the way while driving.
All elderly person’s abilities and needs are assessed formally into two categories: Activities of Daily Living (ADLs); and, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s). These categories become important when considering the need for a nursing home or assisted living facility.
ADLS include bathing, eating, dressing, speech, breathing on your own and using the bathroom.
IADL's are less basic like driving and housekeeping.
Part of your concerns should be related to the potential for Elder Fraud. Read about the most common frauds elders are exposed to.:
Social Security Fraud
(where people impersonate a government official)
Inquire about the Folstein Mini Mental Exam to test for competency and mental decline. Get a professional assessment from a geriatrician.
Administration on Aging The Administration on Aging (AOA) is the principal agency of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services designated to carry out the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA)
WebMD WebMD provides valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information.
National Institute of Mental Health Transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses.
CDC Healthy Aging Resources from Center for disease control and prevention.
HealthinAging.org From the America Geriatrics Society
National Institute on Aging NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research.
Help with Meds Information National Council on Patient Information and Education working to advance the safe, appropriate use of medicines through enhanced communication since 1982.
Guardian Insurance List of 100 Best Aging Online Resources
Alzheimers Association Find resources based on zip code.
AARP Health Great information and local references.
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