Accepting the need for assistance is not easy for adults as they get older. So, how will you determine when your elderly parent needs home care? One thing is sure: your parents are not likely to be the ones who tell you.
Older adults have a desire to remain independent and be in control. Usually, a senior will hide any issues out of fear of being a burden or because they are embarrassed or ashamed. However, until a sudden decline in their overall health makes it obvious, they need assistance. Since adult children don’t come up with a care decision plan before the crisis takes place, the stress of an unexpected hospitalization complicates things even more.
One way to avoid this problematic scenario is to start regularly monitoring your aging parent’s mental and physical abilities. Make sure he knows this is not an accusation but instead a way to help him maintain his independence for as long as possible. It is not easy to see a loved one’s health decline, but you can help them avoid any medical crisis if you know the signs. To determine whether your parents need home care, keep an eye on the following essential signs:
Essential Signs that Your Elderly Family Member Needs Home Care
1. Difficulty Getting Around
As many experts agree, most people over the age of 70 need some help to go about their routine. However, your family member may not feel comfortable telling you that he needs assistance. Over time, vision and hearing loss may become severe enough to limit your loved one’s ability to move around the house without help. Your parents will also need some help if they begin having problems with balance or coordination.
2. Difficulty Taking Care of Themselves
While it is normal for older adults to deal with medical issues eventually, it is not normal for them to not take care of themselves altogether. It is one of the most obvious signs that your loved one needs help. When you notice that they are unable to take care of their hygiene or clean up after themselves, you have to intervene.
3. Physical Decline
As the years’ progress, most elderly adults will experience a gradual decrease in physical fitness and mobility. However, some older adults experience a sudden decline in health that is too rapid to be recognized by any family member. Once this happens, they can’t regain their full strength and mobility before they are forced to seek home care assistance.
4. Cluttered Home
In most cases, older adults take pride in the appearance of their homes. Over time, they will likely develop a tidy and clean appearance. However, this will start to change as they get older. In addition to the usual clutter created over time, it is essential to keep an eye out for signs that your elderly family member needs home care due to cluttered spaces.
5. Loss of Memory or Confusion
An alarming number of elderly adults suffer from some degree of memory loss or confusion. As a result, they may fail to remember important dates, events, and conversations, while some may become disoriented while trying to get ready for the day or do other routine tasks. These are warning signs that your elderly parent may have developed dementia.
6. Frequent Falls
As the year’s pass, seniors tend to have a greater chance of falling. As a result, they may need assistance getting up from a chair or moving around to get to the bathroom without damaging themselves. These falls occur gradually over time in most cases and do not require any immediate attention from you or your family. However, if you notice that your loved one is falling more frequently or becoming unstable while moving around the house, you should consider calling for a senior home care service.
7. Reduced Appetite and Sudden Weight Loss or No Gain in Weight
A sudden and unexplained loss of appetite or inability to gain weight is a possible sign that your loved one needs home care. Such problems may be linked to some form of pain or discomfort that he is unable to self-diagnose. When this happens, it is time for you to step in and intervene.
8. Feelings of Worthlessness and Hopelessness
If you notice that your elderly parent is experiencing a change in their attitude, it might signify that they feel worthless or hopeless about something. You can tell if your loved one is unhappy with their life when he starts complaining about things more often than usual and becomes more irritable than normal. It may help to write down thoughts about these feelings or speak to a counselor for some guidance.
9. Shift in Personality
It is normal for older adults to become more irritable as they age. It could be due to any number of reasons, including pain or medication side effects. However, if your elderly loved one changes significantly in personality, it may be a sign that dementia has set in. For example, most people who experience memory issues will occasionally forget to pick up their medication or lose important documents. But if your loved one forgets things regularly, you must consider consulting a physician.
Hiring Home Care for Elderly Family Member
Once you notice any signs that your loved one may need care, the best way to help them maintain their independence is to hire senior home care services. These agencies offer caregivers who are trained to assist the elderly with various activities. They can provide assistance with daily living, including bathing or getting dressed, as well as other activities depending on the needs of your loved one.
The ideal way to start your search is to ask yourself, “Are there any great senior care services near me that can address my parent’s needs?” To ensure that the agency will provide the most effective service, look for reviews and ratings online. Ask friends and relatives if they have had similar experiences with specific agencies and services. You can also ask family members and friends if they know of individuals who would be good candidates for home care.
All in all, these are some of the most common signs that you may need to hire senior home care services for your family member. If you notice any of these indicators, it is never too late to consider hiring assistance.
I’m Andrea Gibbs, Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Serenity Senior Care to motivate other parents about how they can enhance their elderly loved ones quality of life.