Warning signs: An aging parent may need help at home

December 21, 2013

Easter Seals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore has some basic tips to help family members spot the warning signs that an aging loved one may need assistance while living at home.  

Easter Seals points out some warning signs to look for during a holiday visit:

Survey the house. Take note of the overall state of the home. If they are normally tidy and organized, is the house in good shape? Check the medicine cabinet.  Note what medications a parent or loved one should be taking and make sure prescriptions are not past their expiration date. Go for a ride with the parent behind the wheel and note his or her speed, response to pedestrians, parking ability and other important driving factors.

Talk with friends and neighbors. They are likely to notice any significant differences in behavior and would be aware of any changes in daily routine. Watch for a change in personal habits. If a parent is bathing or shampooing infrequently, not shaving, or dressing inappropriately when the weather is either hot or cold, it should be a red flag that something could be wrong.

Easter Seals has a Caregiver and Assistive Technology Resource Center in New Castle with resources and information for caregivers, including the opportunity to speak with a case manager about home care and support. There are also hundreds of devices which can help keep a parent safe while maintaining some independence.

The resource center is open during regular business hours. For more information about the Easter Seals Resource Center, contact Nancy Ranalli at 302-221-2033 or or click on “Resources” at

For information about Easter Seals In-Home Services, call Beth Manlove at 302-221-2060 or go to


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