Signs It’s Time for Long Term Care

December 13, 2021

Misplaced keys, missed chores, mixed-up names – slip-ups happen to all of us. But when does Mom leaving the stove on or Dad’s forgetfulness become something to worry about?

Particularly as people age, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a harmless “bad day” and a warning sign that additional help is needed. 

Below are a few signs a loved one may need long term care:


  • Changes in weight, strength, energy, and balance
  • Increased susceptibility to falling,bruising, and/or other similar injuries
  • Inability to maintain personal hygiene, like bathing, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Untidiness – clutter, mail and newspapers being left outside, etc. – that could be indicative of mobility or mental issues
  • Increased medical needs, such as dialysis, an oxygen tank, or increased medications


  • Behavioral changes like crying, swearing, confusion or frustration
  • Changes in reasoning that put themselves or others at risk
  • Memory loss


  • Social isolation or avoiding social contact
  • Changes in sleeping habits, eating, and activity levels, which could indicate depression

Caregiver Burnout

  • You are exhausted due to the amount of care your loved one needs.
  • There are too many doctor’s appointments or medications to keep track of.
  • You find that the stress from caregiving is impeding other parts of your life (work, family, etc.).

If these signs are appearing in you or your loved one’s life, it may be time to look into long term care options to help attend to changing needs. Learn about the different types of long term care options here.  

For additional resources on early warning signs, see this guidance from the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.