Many times we may notice subtle changes in an aging loved one that my give us cause for concern.  It’s important to recognize these signs in order to prevent future problems such as falls, accidents, or other adverse medical events.

The following is a list of such signs to be on the lookout for in order to keep your loved one safe in their home.

Signs of Physical and Mental Status Changes

  • Difficulty keeping track of time

  • Sleeping for most of the day

  • Poor diet or weight loss

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

  • Changes in mood or extreme mood swings

  • Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility

  • Unexplained bruising or injuries

  • Marks or wear on walls, door jams, furniture and other items being used to help with stability while walking through the home

  • Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks

  • Forgetfulness, including forgetting to take medications or taking incorrect dosages

  • Missing important appointments

  • Consistent use of poor judgment (e.g. falling for scams or sales pitches, giving away money)




Poor Personal Hygiene

      • Unpleasant body odor

      • Infrequent showering or bathing

      • A strong smell of urine in the house or on clothing

      • Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care (e.g. unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, lack of oral care, wearing dirty or stained clothing)




  • Neglecting Household Responsibilities

    • Little or no fresh, healthy food in the fridge

    • Dirty house and/or extreme clutter

    • Dirty laundry piling up

    • Stains or wet spots on furniture or carpet

    • Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away

    • Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox

    • Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors

    • Utilities being turned off due to missed payments

    • Unexplained dents and scratches on their car


    If these signs are present, it doesn’t necessarily mean a move to assisted living or a nursing home is required.  However, these red flags do indicate that daily supportive care is needed.

    If you have questions or need further guidance as to what is needed and available within your community, give us a call at VITALity – 1-888-26VITALity.  Our Care Coordinators will be happy to meet with you and help arrange for services and develop a plan for your aging loved one to remain safe, happy and secure at home for as long as possible.  Our services are free and open to all residents within the Diocese of Camden – covering Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

    May God bless you and your loved ones.

    Deacon Jerry



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