How to spot signs of decline in a loved one

Bright Carer and her client on wheelchair on the promenade

There are many small signs of decline which might signal the need for extra help if spotted in an elderly loved one. It is vitally important to take action if you see these signs. Below are a few key things to look for:

1. Daily Tasks

Signs of decline in daily tasks include difficulty dressing, eating, cooking, climbing steps, driving or managing medications. Read more on older people and driving.


2. Hygiene And Appearance

Self-care tasks which maybe signal a problem include infrequent bathing or reduced efforts in personal appearance.


3. Household Responsibilities

Unopened mail, papers pilling up, unpaid bills, phone calls not returned, low food supply, unkempt home interior and/or exterior, laundry piling up, spilling and dropping things (check carpet for stains) and keeping curtains drawn, all signal signs of decline.


4. Health

Signs of decline in overall health include weight loss, changes in appetite, problems swallowing, fatigue, burns, black and blue marks (possible signs of falling), hearing loss (look for signs of lip reading and talking loudly), withdrawn without reason, complaints of muscle weakness, insomnia, excessive sleeping or dehydration.


5. Isolation

Reduced interest in outside friendships, talking, activities or hobbies all signal a problem.


6. Attitude

When our loved ones are less happy in themselves, talk of being depressed or having feelings of despair, are unusually argumentative or have recently experienced an emotional or medical crisis, we may consider these signs of decline.


7. Cognitive Function

Signs of decline in cognitive function include consistent forgetfulness about where things are, getting lost whilst walking or driving, confusion or loss of reasoning skills, forgetting to close windows, turn off the stove or lock doors and loss of sense of time.

About Us

Bright Care is a family-founded business providing care and companionship to the elderly in the peaceful comfort of their own home. Get in touch to talk to our dedicated care team and discover what’s possible for your elderly loved ones.  


Why choose Bright Care

At Bright Care we offer fully-managed in-home care services, delivered by our highly-trained, caring and compassionate Care Assistants. Our regulated tailored care can help maintain your loved one’s independence within the familiarity of their own home.

Each of our clients has a small team of Bright Carers who are matched according to their needs and interests, allowing for meaningful relationships to develop. The services we offer include daytime hourly care with visits lasting for two hours or more, 24-hour live-in care and overnight or sleepover care. All of our services are carefully set up and managed by an appointed Care Manager and include access to our emergency call-out service.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been produced for guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.