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In the game of baseball a coach uses indicators, or hand signals, to communicate across the field to a batter, runner or fielder. They allow the player to understand the game plan without giving it away to the opposing team.

In home care we watch for indicators when an older adult is opposing help or changes in their life. While they are trying to save face or protect their dignity you can watch for these ten indicators.

10. They are making excuses to miss appointments or other out of the home activities. They may seem to be loosing interest in past hobbies.

9.  Their refrigerator has spoiled food in it from the previous holiday/birthday party.

8.  It takes them more than three tries to get up from a seated position. Their usual strength has decreased

7.  It becomes common for their things (purse or wallet) to be misplaced or lost. Memory problems often show up this way and ignoring the event doesn’t make it better.

6.  You notice that their mailbox is full, or they have piles of unopened mail. Difficulty getting out to the mailbox can be a sign that other things are also being overlooked.

5.  They have new bruises that they seem unwilling or embarrassed to explain. A fall or a medication error can cause bruising which can be a symptom of other serious problems.

4.  You notice a weight loss, weight gain, or clothing not fitting normally. Eating habits can change as their health changes. Preparing food can become difficult resulting in eating large quantities of prepackaged foods or not enough food.

3.  Their pill box has several full zones at the end of the week. This can cause problems.  When the doctor does not know about it he may continue to prescribe changing doses or other medications when a simpler solution could be available.

2.  An unusual odor is noticed as you enter their home. They may be having trouble cleaning, or have health related problems that require assistance for them to manage.

1.  Their doctor calls you saying that they should not be living alone. Doctors often seem to overreact, but they usually have good intentions.

You can be a support and possibly a superhero for the aging person in your life. Make a referral to us and we will provide you with information and point you in the direction that is needed. Just a few hours of help each week can make it possible for them to remain at home in a healthy way.

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