Sandra Sprague is President of Care Givers NW, the premier in-home non-medical senior care agency in the Portland Oregon metro area.
Hi, I'm Sandra Sprague, president of CARE GIVERS NW, the premier
in-home senior care service in the greater Portland, Oregon region. I
have been in the Senior Care industry for over 20 years, five of those
as the hands-on owner of a busy in-home care giving agency.
Many times we are involved with a senior client who is receiving
additional help for the first time ever in their life. It is not easy for
someone who has been independent their whole life to accept the
notion that they need a little extra help with household responsibilities or
Activities of Daily Living (ADL's). Often our clients are being encouraged
to enlist outside help by their children, the very people they themselves
have given care to for years; it can be a sensitive time and a stressful
subject to address.
Nevertheless, the sooner a senior loved one's need for extra assistance is addressed and all family members are
on the same page, the better. We go over our recommended process for
choosing the right level of senior care in
another section of our website, but it is important to recognize the sometimes subtle signs that point to a senior
loved one's need for additional help.
Before you begin the decision-making processes we recommend in "Choosing the Right
Senior Care", determine if there is a need for some additional help with household chores
and/or Activities of Daily Living (ADL'S). The following are the Top Ten Signs a senior may
need to consider a change in lifestyle:
  • Less Active Lifestyle - More time spent at home, decreased church attendance, less
    frequent trips to the park, the movies, etc.
  • Decline in Housekeeping Quality - Beds remain unmade, dirty dishes are piled in
    the sink, dirty laundry has piled up, etc.
  • Blackened or Charred Pots and Pans - A sign of forgetfulness and/or significant
    hearing loss.
  • Uncharacteristic Weight Loss - A signal of increased inability to prepare regular,
    nutritious meals; a sign of decreased self-care ability and interest.
  • Bruises, Abrasions or Other Signs of Falls
  • Distinct Change in the Home's Exterior Upkeep and Maintenance
  • Bills and Other Mail Piled Up and Unopened
  • Reduction in the Number of Social Engagements - Ceasing regular card game
    attendance, bowling league or gardening club activities, etc.
  • Lack of Interest in Pursuing Hobbies - Sudden cessation of golf or gardening,
    sewing circles, book clubs, etc.
  • Reduced Self-Care Efforts and Concerns - Personal hygiene failings such as dirty
    clothes, body odor, etc.
As I mentioned earlier, starting the discussions with a senior loved one about the need for
extra help can often be stressful. But the best time to start is before any of the Top Ten
Signs a Senior Needs Help leads to a serious fall or other household injury that could require
even more extreme measures.
There are a number of things which can be done around the house which can help ease a
senior loved one's difficulties with daily activities. Simple additions to the household, such as
bathroom grab bars, ramps, better lighting and other senior-friendly products and solutions
can go a long way towards improving the quality of life for a senior loved one or senior
couple. Check out some of the products at and see some of the
great, inexpensive things which can help keep a senior safely at home!

Top Ten Signs a Senior Needs Help

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