Signs that it is Time for a Beloved Senior to Receive In-Home Elderly Care

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Although the aging of your loved ones is a tough topic, it is something that should be discussed as they get older. It can be very difficult to open up the conversation about your elderly loved one phasing into a new chapter of their life and perhaps needing more care, but it is vital to discuss these things and have plans in place. Before deciding whether or not your loved one will need in-home assistance, here are some signs that they may need to receive additional care sooner rather than later

Firstly, one of the signs that your loved one may need in-home care pretty soon is a cluttered home. As we age, we simply can not keep up with all of the things that we once could. A cluttered home, especially for those seniors who previously kept a tidy house, maybe a telltale sign that they are in need of some help. If your loved one can’t keep up with their home and as a result, are living amongst their things in a cluttered, dirty fashion, it may be a sign that they can no longer help themselves in regards to keeping things orderly. There are also several issues surrounding clutter within an aging loved ones home. With the increase of stuff in their home, they can, in turn, decrease their mobility due to clutter, increase memory loss because they can easily jumble things up in their heads with this clutter, and perhaps eventually develop health and dietary issues if the clutter begins to affect the kitchen and pantries. Without a doubt, we as humans love to collect things and assign a sentimental value to them but if your loved one is drowning in clutter, be sure to pay attention.

Another sign that your loved one needs additional help is if they’re failing with their personal hygiene. Hygiene is something personal to every single person, but if you begin to see a decline in personal hygiene in your elderly loved one you may need to start looking into in-home care. As seniors age, changes in personal hygiene practices is usually a sign of a psychosocial upset, or perhaps a physical debility. This is one of the first telltale signs that things may not be okay within elderly patients. This lack of personal hygiene can also extend into other facets of their lives. Not washing hands before eating, letting garbage and food pile up in their homes, having an overall lack of cleanliness are also signs of poor personal hygiene as well as somewhat of a mental decline. All in all, poor personal hygiene impacts not only the social aspect of a senior’s life, but also medically. They can contract things like bacterial infections, fungi, the flu, etc. Lack of cleanliness also opens up doors to an increase in germs and has the opportunity to make your loved ones sick. This is obviously not optimal for seniors to live like this and it can cause serious harm to their mental and physical state.

Additionally, if you notice your loved one is having increasing issues with driving it may be time to consider in-home care. Naturally, driving provides that independence and mobility that most people crave but for elderly patients, the opportunity for danger increases. As your loved one's age, it is vital to keep an eye out for their driving practices. Here are some indicators to look for that may signify that an elderly driver shouldn’t be behind the wheel:

  • Making sudden lane changes
  • Braking or stopping abruptly without cause
  • Pressing on both the accelerator and brake
  • Having increased anxiety behind the wheel
  • Driving very slowly
  • Lack of quick reactions to changing road conditions
  • Getting lost easily
  • Causing dents or scrapes on their personal car or surrounding objects
Losing this aspect of your independence is not easy for many seniors to grasp. If you feel as though they are a real concern to themselves and others, have them take a driving test with the DMV and if they fail, you know that it is time to cease driving. Not being able to drive properly as an elderly person may be a sign of mental decline and is another contributing factor to in-home care.

When assessing if your loved one may need in-home care, talk to your loved one about their medications and doctor’s visits. If they are experiencing difficulty with managing their medications or taking doctor’s directions, it may be a sign that they are not equipped to handle that aspect of their life anymore. Medications, as well as direct orders from their doctors, are a vital part of keeping them healthy. If they can no longer manage that, it is not a safe bet to allow them to continue to handle that. With the help of in-home care, their caregiver can manage all of their necessary medications, as well as doctor’s directions, and ensure the safety and wellbeing of your loved one.

The last sign that your loved one may need to shift to in-home care is if they are experiencing loneliness. Loneliness in seniors is one of the most detrimental factors to their health. We as people are naturally social creatures and if seniors’ aren’t experiencing social interactions and brain stimulation, that could lead to drastic mental declines and perhaps, a shortened lifespan. Loneliness could put them at risk for serious medical issues like stroke, heart attack, anxiety, and depression. As your loved one's age, they begin to experience radical changes in their lives. They go from working regularly, seeing people often, and living a more independent life to not working, seeing people less often, perhaps not being able to drive, and consequently, living a more sheltered and lonely life. These sudden changes in social interaction can have major impacts on the mental health of your loved one and if they being to experience things like depression and anxiety, it may be a good idea to look into in-home care.

Now, what exactly can in-home care do in order to ease the transition into all of the aspects I mentioned above? To begin, if your loved is experiencing a cluttered home, a caregiver can aid in that experience. They can assist with housework and chores and enable your loved one to live in a tidier, more organized place. They can also cook meals for seniors which can take away any stress around food. With a more organized place and assistance with meals, that can decrease the likelihood that seniors will experience health and dietary concerns, confusion, or memory loss due to a cluttered environment. Additionally, a caregiver can assist seniors with personal hygiene by bathing, dressing, and grooming them. If your loved one is expressing signs that they can no longer take care of their hygiene, a caregiver can be an excellent resource to help. Depending on the frequency of your caregiver’s visits, they can help with the hygiene aspect regularly in order to aid seniors in a healthy life. In regards to the driving and transportation aspect of your senior’s life, a caregiver can assist with that too. It is important for seniors to maintain a level of independence as they age and even if they can’t drive, it could still be important for them to get out into the world. A caregiver can assist with pickups and drop-offs to locations that your loved one wants to go to, allowing them to continue their favorite outside activities. Another great aspect of in-home care is that if your elderly loved one is having difficulty managing medications and doctor’s orders, a caregiver can easily aid with disbursement. By allowing a caregiver to handle medications and direct orders from doctors, it takes away any stress that you or your loved one may feel in regards to their medication diligence. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, a caregiver can conjunctionally act as a companion to your loved one. Don’t be mistaken, a caregiver is there to work and be a great resource in maintaining your loved one’s health and wellbeing, but they are also good friends. With frequent visits from a caregiver, your loved one can have someone to connect with socially which can do wonders for their mental health. Please remember, though, to organize a rotation of friends and family to go and hang out with your elderly loved one periodically so that they can have frequent social interaction and spend time with the people that they love. In-home care can be one of the best moves that you make in order for your loved one to receive the care they need and improve themselves both mentally and physically. Consult with our team here at Universal Metro Asian Services and inquire about in-home caregivers that can improve your loved one's overall health and wellbeing.

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