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Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network® (Alabama Respite) is a program of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Huntsville and Tennessee Valley.

How Do I Know if My Older Loved One May Need Assistance? PDF Print E-mail

The Eldercare locator has several resources that caregivers of older adults may find helpful.  Many of these resources can be found at their website, www.eldercare.gov.  One topic of interest to many people, is how to recognize when an older loved one may need assistance from his or her family, friends, or other caregivers.  The Eldercare locator has complied a Factsheet that lists 10 Warning Signs that caregivers need to be aware of.  Any one of the following behaviors may indicate the need to take action.  It is also important to inform the older adult’s physician of these physical or psychological behavior changes.

Has your loved one:





• Changed eating habits, resulting in losing weight, having no appetite, or missing meals?

• Neglected personal hygiene, including wearing dirty clothes and having body odor, bad breath,

neglected nails and teeth, or sores on the skin?

• Neglected their home, with a noticeable change in cleanliness and sanitation?

• Exhibited inappropriate behavior, such as being unusually loud, quiet, paranoid, or agitated, or

making phone calls at all hours?

• Changed relationship patterns, causing friends and neighbors to express concerns?

• Had physical problems, such as burns or injury marks, which may result from general weakness,

forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or prescribed medications?

• Decreased or stopped participating in activities that were once important to them, such as bridge

or a book club, dining with friends, or attending religious services?

• Exhibited forgetfulness, resulting in unopened mail, piling of newspapers, not filling their

prescriptions, or missing appointments?

• Mishandled finances, such as not paying bills, losing money, paying bills twice or more, or hiding


• Made unusual purchases, such as buying more than one subscription to the same magazine,

entering an unusually large number of contests, or increasing purchases from television


Through the Eldercare Locator, older adults and their loved ones can get connected with information

on local aging resources that offer assistance for aging in place, enabling older adults to continue living

independently in their homes and communities. For additional information on programs and services

for older adults and their caregivers in your area, contact the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 or


Information obtained from Factsheet written and published by Eldercare Locator.