Are You Overlooking Elderly Members in Community?
Although many elderly members in your community are capable of living independently, sooner or later you may have an elderly member who has trouble coping with day-to-day concerns, such as managing money or keeping his unit tidy. An elderly member who has trouble coping may neglect normal upkeep in his unit. Oversights can lead to property damage and safety concerns. For example, the member may eventually stop cleaning, let his bathtub overflow, or leave the gas range on—putting himself, other members, and your condominium building at risk. You can help avoid disaster by looking for the following warning signs that an elderly member’s situation might become serious:
· Repeated questions or requests;
· Inappropriate dressing;
· Substance abuse;
· Compulsive hoarding; or
· Frequent visits from strangers.
Fortunately, there are local and state agencies that assist elderly members. Programs are available, regardless of income, to those who are mentally or physically impaired and unable to carry out daily chores or protect themselves from neglect without assistance, and who have no one available to assist them responsibly. If the member is better able to care for himself and his unit with the help of these agencies, your building will benefit, too. Your search for agencies can start with a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging called the Eldercare Locater, which is celebrating 20 years of connecting the elderly and their families or caretakers with community resources and services. Visit www.eldercare.gov for more information.