As the top-rated elder care attorney serving Chester County, I see many cases where loved ones are starting to decline in the daily functions of their lives. The decline is usually gradual, and if you are not seeing the person frequently or rarely speak to them in person, these changes may not be as noticeable.

With many of the changes being subtle, friends and family members may be wondering what they have to look for in their loved ones. While some of these changes are due to the natural aging process, some may be early warning signs of cognitive decline associated with dementia.

Here are some things to look for:

  • They require reminders about simple tasks.
  • Neighbors and friends are expressing concern.
  • They are falling behind on regular payments.
  • Someone who usually puts effort into their appearance suddenly wears wrinkled or dirty clothing.
  • They are experiencing abnormal fluctuations in weight.
  • They are having driving issues such as fender benders or parking in the wrong spot.
  • You’ve gotten calls that they have gotten lost going to familiar places.
  • They express unwarranted anger or frustration that is usually out-of-character.
  • They speak about someone who is gone as if they are still alive.
  • They refer to a loved one by the wrong relationship (like a husband as “my brother.”)
  • They are misusing common objects.
  • They make inappropriate or unfiltered comments.
  • They exhibit notable changes in personality and speech patterns.
  • They are making significantly more “charitable” donations.
  • They mention new friends that you have not met.
  • Their mail is piling up with sweepstakes solicitations.

It is best for you, your loved ones, and the older adult to address problems sensitively and quickly. If discussed appropriately, coping mechanisms can be developed to maintain independence and quality of life as long as possible. You should also be sure to plan care with enough time to choose the right care plan and maximize your resources. When you wait until the matter has become a crisis, it is often too late.

Slutsky Elder Law has been helping clients plan and maximize their quality of life and financial resources. We have been assisting families in making choices rather than being caught off guard since 1992. If you believe someone close to you may be suffering from symptoms associated with dementia, or for help with Medicaid applications in Montgomery County, contact us today.

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