Home care is not solely for support with activities of daily living – it also provides critical socialization through companionship as well as help maintaining independence. Today, care at home can serve as a replacement to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Family members and friends may wonder when it is appropriate to find help to aid an aging parent, spouse or relative. Often the family waits too long to bring in outside help and realize their senior needs care after a health or safety scare, like a fall. It’s best to bring in outside help early in order to extend independent years and prevent an adverse health or safety event.
Below is a checklist that may be helpful and instructive in determining when a loved one may need a helping hand:
- A cluttered home. One indication that a loved one may need help is when the home is perpetually untidy or dirty. The messiness may include clutter, accumulations of garbage or recycling, dirty or unfolded laundry or stacks of dirty dishes.
- Inadequate personal hygiene. Disregard to appearance, bathing and soiled clothing can be a red flag for attention deficits and possible diminishing memory. Another thing to look for is clothing that is not appropriate for the weather (i.e., short pants and t-shirts in the winter).
- Problems driving. Even though driving represents freedom to most seniors, traffic tickets, fender-benders and dents on the vehicle may indicate that your loved one is no longer able to drive safely.
- Extreme change in weight, A difference of 10% or more in body weight can signify two things: (1) That a loved one is not eating nutritious meals or is avoiding meal preparation or (2) that your loved one is suffering from depression.
- Confusion or loneliness. Aging adults may find that everyday activities, such as socializing or hobbies, have become too difficult. As a result of this feeling, he or she may retreat from other family members and restrict many activities he or she previously found pleasurable.
Home Care Assistance embraces the belief that seniors can live well at home and remain as independent as possible in a positive and healthy setting. Consider the potential hazards an older adult may face living at home alone when selecting home care services. Learn what level of care is best for your loved one when evaluating multiple caregivers or agencies. Most importantly, plan your search early. Don’t delay your search to find the best care for your loved one until after an emergency has occurred.