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Know the Warning Signs: When a Loved One Needs Help

As a friend or family member, it is important to recognize when a loved one might need extra help. If you see changes in their behavior or routine, or things just don't seem right, follow your instincts and look for these warning signs:

View our Take Care of the Caregiver online seminar by Barbara K. Moeller, RN, PHN (aired May 15, 2012).

  • Poor grooming, such as stains on clothes and infrequent bathing.
  • Sudden mood changes or easily becoming angry, suspicious or paranoid.
  • Reluctant or resistant to spending time with others.
  • Prolonged sadness.
  • Poor or decreased judgment, such as stove burners left on or doors unlocked.
  • Mishandling finances or not paying bills.
  • Not taking medication or using an incorrect dose.
  • Loss of initiative or lack of interest in normal activities.
  • Increased forgetfulness or confusion, such as missed doctor appointments or skipping family events.
  • Changes in eating habits and less interest in nutritious meals.
  • Difficulty walking, unsteadiness or frequent falls.

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