Jeff spoke with Anne Browning of Homewatch CareGivers about spotting the signs that a loved one may need care assistance.

We all know our family best. As our parents get older we will often see signs of decline in function at their home. There are a few key signs to look for that tells us that mom or dad are not caring for things like they used to and may need some help.

 Signs to look for…

  • If a parent was an immaculate housekeeper and now things are messy in the home.
  • During a visit, you notice a lot of expired food or NO fresh food in the kitchen; everything is in cans or is take-out.
  • Expired medications.
  • Unpaid bills lying around.
  • The outside of the home is unkempt. Newspapers are still in the driveway and grass is not mowed.
  • Laundry is piling up.
  • The parent is not wearing clean clothes or is wearing the same clothes over and over again.
  • The parent is not socializing like he or she used to with the church, community, friends and/or family.
  • The car has dings and dents.

What to do if you are not living near your loved one. What can be done from a distance?

Seniors are often proud and want to remain self-sufficient; they do not want other people to see their weaknesses. Often times an older person will try to hide what he or she needs, so it is important to look for signs by doing the following:

Listen: When speaking to them on the phone listen for subtle hints. Ask them about how certain activates you know they like to do are going (i.e. church or civic groups, bridge club).

Look: You don’t see them often, so when you do see them, changes in their appearance or behavior will be more obvious than to people who see them with more regularity.

Feel: A hug can tell a lot. Mom and dad may become more frail because they are not eating right or feeling well. Up close, you can see if they are not washing their clothes or bathing like they used to.


If you have any additional questions about care assistance, please contact Homewatch CareGivers at (919) 960-6038 or visit the website: