Common Signs It’s Time for Intervention/Professional Help

Please note: this isn’t a comprehensive list, nor do all signs need to be present in order for intervention to be appropriate.

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Diminished Safety Awareness/Impaired Judgement

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  • Wandering/Aimlessness
  • Letting strangers in the home
  • Unsafe driving practices
  • Leaving burner on unattended
  • Leaving pot or pan on stove unattended
  • Unable to quickly & correctly answer what to do if there were a fire in the home

Changes In Home Environment

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  • Suddenly writing checks for large amounts to unknown persons, unusual banking practices
  • Uncharacteristic change in home cleanliness and order
  • Refusing to throw out unnecessary items, e.g., trash, newspapers, old mail, junk mail
  • Utilities being cut off
  • Unpaid bills when money is available
  • Sudden increase in magazine subscriptions, mail-in offers, Franklin Mint, collectibles, sweepstakes

Behavioral Changes

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  • Aggressive/violent behavior
  • Sundowning
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior/lack of inhibition such as public disrobing
  • Dramatic change in behavior or personality
  • Loss of motivation, apathy
  • Sudden onset of depression
  • Delusions/hallucinations
  • Suddenly saying no to social activities that were formerly enjoyed
  • Saying no to visits and contact with family and friends
  • Compulsive behaviors such as gambling, overeating, sexual acting out

Physical Changes

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  • Falls
  • Change in gait or physical strength
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Sudden incontinence
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Dramatic weight loss; dietary changes; eating inappropriate food items
  • Repeated trips to the ER, hospital, urgent care, doctor
  • Self-medicating through use of alcohol/drugs (prescription or illegal)

Cognitive Changes

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  • Inability to do familiar tasks
  • Inability to cope with familiar situations
  • Word finding difficulty
  • Delayed speech or cognitive processing
  • Not comprehending spoken or written language
  • Forgetting/missing appointments
  • Getting lost on foot or in the car in familiar locations/environments