When physical or mental capabilities diminish, a person may begin to need assistance. If you have aging parents or other senior relatives, it’s important to know the warning signs that signal a need for assistance. The Eldercare Locator is a government service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
To help determine when an older adult may need assistance in the home, the Eldercare Locator compiled the following list of warning signs.
10 Warning Signs Your Senior Relative May Need Help

  1. Changing eating habits, resulting in weight loss, appetite loss, or missed meals.
  2. Neglecting personal hygiene, including clothing, body odor, oral health, nails, and skin.
  3. Neglecting the home, with a noticeable change in tidiness and/or sanitation.
  4. Exhibiting inappropriate behavior, such as being unusually loud, quiet, paranoid, or agitated, or making phone calls at unusual hours.
  5. Changing relationship patterns, causing friends and neighbors to express concern.
  6. Showing physical injuries, such as burns, which may have resulted from general weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or medication.
  7. Decreasing or stopping participation in activities that were once enjoyable, such as a bridge or book club, dining with friends, or attending religious services.
  8. Exhibiting forgetfulness, resulting in unopened mail, newspaper piles, unfilled prescriptions, or missed appointments.
  9. Mishandling finances, such as not paying bills or paying them more than once and losing or hiding money.
  10. Making unusual purchases, such as more than one subscription to the same magazine, entering an unusually large number of contests, or increasing purchases from television advertisements.

Any one of these behaviors may indicate the need for assistance. It is also important to inform the older adult’s physician of these changes.
Getting Your Senior Relative Assistance
The first step in helping your aging parents or other Senior relatives is talking to them. Ask them about any warning sign you witness. It may help to reassure them that you want to help get them assistance so that they can remain in their home as long as possible. When you’re discussing the potential need for assistance, it may also be a good time to discuss the importance of Estate Planning.
We know that making arrangements for the eventuality of aging can be very stressful and emotional. We strive to remove some of the burden from you and your family by helping you create an Estate Plan that addresses your needs in detail. We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Elder Law Group PLLC has been recognized as one of the fasted growing law firms in the U.S. as an Annual Law Firm 500 Award honoree. Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.