Deciding on seeking out in-home care services for a loved one is never easy. This sort of decision is typically made in response to demonstrations of failing or lost faculties on the part of a senior who is having increased difficulty living on their own.
Getting older can be tough. As we age our bodies don’t react to things in the ways they once did, certain capabilities begin to diminish, and there are a multitude of physical and mental ailments that can start to develop over time.
If the symptoms associated with these challenges start to manifest themselves in ways that could put your senior loved one at risk in any way, then it might be time to consider establishing some kind of home care arrangement.
This will enable the senior to remain in their home instead of moving them to an outside care facility. In many cases, this should be a last resort option as seniors tend to do better when they are living in their own home.
Watch for Signs
Deciding on getting long-term in home care should be done delicately and only after you’ve managed to ascertain whether or not the senior is at risk. That means watching out for the telltale signs that your loved one is having trouble doing even the most routine things that were once effortless.
The common signs won’t always be readily apparent from an outsider’s perspective and it’s up to you to watch closely for even the smallest indicator. Aging seniors don’t often want to admit they’re having trouble with normal everyday tasks and they also don’t want to be a burden to anyone else.
So it’s entirely up to you to watch for any strange situations or instances where your senior may be having some trouble living in their own home all alone.
In an effort to take some of the guesswork out of this equation, here are some of the most common signs that long term senior care may be necessary for your loved one. These home care tips may not apply to all seniors, but these are typically the initial indicators that need your attention.
This is the most obvious sign of a potential issue that needs to be addressed. We are all capable of forgetting things on occasion, but if your senior is displaying repeated bouts of memory loss or consistent signs of confusion, then it may be time to talk about it.
Names of friends and loved ones or places that were once familiar can become forgotten or foreign and this could be the first indicator that something bigger is on the horizon in the form of dementia or other mental incapacity.
Changes in weight aren’t an immediate cause for concern but if your senior is starting to show signs of significant weight loss, there could be a serious problem.
It may be something as simple as a loss of appetite and this on its own doesn’t mean there is a major problem. Your loved one may not be as hungry as they normally would be due to medications that are being administered. But it is important to ensure proper nutrition, so keep an eye on your love one’s eating habits to see if this is just a temporary anomaly.
On the other hand, seniors who are displaying major weight loss with clothes that don’t fit like they once did may be having problems feeding themselves or they have lost interest in eating. This is not something you can expect your loved one to come out and reveal automatically but it is a problem that must be taken seriously.
The overall condition of the home may play a significant role in whether or not home care is necessary. Not only the physical state of the residence but the amount of difficulty your senior is having in moving through it.
Keep an eye on your loved one as he or she navigates from one room to the next. Do they appear confident in their abilities or are they hesitant and reluctant trying to maneuver around furniture and up the stairs.
Check to see if there has been any recent damage as well. This is particularly important to assess in areas like the kitchen or the laundry room. The former can become quite dangerous with the presence of heat and/or fire from the oven and stove. If you notice signs of fire damage that have taken place, you may need to get your loved one some assistance to prepare their meals.