Monday, April 17, 2023

It is common to not notice subtle changes with people and environments that slowly evolve over time. We may be quick to notice a change to a friend’s hair color or a new pair of glasses, but the monthly change in height of a young child growing up in our own home typically does not register until we step back and compare the subtle changes to a picture or height marks scribbled on a door frame. Psychologists use terms such as habituation, change blindness, or inattentional blindness to describe this phenomenon.

This same phenomenon exists as we view the changes occurring to ourselves or the aging loved ones in our lives. As time progresses, our mind takes in the visual images and organizes them so quickly that they overlap and morph in such a way that we fail to recognize the small changes that are happening. Too often we fail to notice that our loved ones have progressed to a point of vulnerability. Understanding what to look for and taking inventory of possible at- risk factors for seniors can help identify the care and support your loved one needs to continue aging well.

There are several risk factors to be aware of and assess when it comes to a loved one's behavior:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to drive
  • Isolation
  • Frequent falls
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medication management
  • Financial vulnerability
  • Legal affairs

Do you have concerns about any of these risk factors for yourself or a loved one? If you are noticing any of these “at-risk” behaviors and would like to discuss a needs assessment, please contact UI Family Services partner, LivWell Seniors, at 319-250-1577 or

QR code for LivWell Seniors

For more information about LivWell Seniors and the in-home assessment program benefit, visit our website by scanning the QR code: 

LivWell Seniors referral and placement services are always free. At LivWell Seniors, we understand that making the right senior living decisions can be complicated. Our compassionate, knowledgeable, and local Senior Resource Specialist (SRS) will guide you and your family through this journey of discovering the most appropriate solutions for your current situation — a willingness to listen and a pair of helping hands!


This article originally appeared in the liveWELL Spring 2023 Newsletter