The majority of seniors are happy, stable, and self-sufficient. However, the aging process, by its very nature, brings about physical and mental changes that can make it difficult to maintain an active and independent lifestyle.
When Does a Senior Need Home Help?
A change in functioning does not always necessitate a transition to assisted living or a nursing home, but it does mean a need for additional assistance to help a senior age in place. Family members often step in to provide support and supervision, but an elder’s increasing care needs can necessitate the hiring of a skilled caregiver for in-home assistance at some stage. Finally, enlisting the help of a home health aide will support both the senior and the family caregivers.
Recognize the Signs that a Senior Loved One Needs Home Care
Personal appearance and household cleanliness changes usually signal a change in physical and/or mental health. Even minor behavioral changes may indicate that an elder is no longer capable of performing previously routine tasks without assistance. Maybe you’ve noticed that Grandma’s unopened mail is piling up, or that Dad’s unopened mail is piling up, or that Grandma, who used to be so diligent with her appearance, is wearing filthy clothes and not doing her hair. These are only two examples of the many telltale signs that a person’s mental abilities are deteriorating.
When you arrive at a loved one’s house, you can usually tell that something is wrong. Household duties can become difficult for a variety of reasons, but when upkeep has deteriorated to the point of excessive clutter and unsanitary conditions, it is clear that outside assistance is needed to keep the home clean and healthy. Other warning signs include a lack of fresh food in the home, weight loss, failing to take drugs, and unexplained bruises, which also indicates mobility issues.
One of the most popular red flags that family members notice is a deviation from defined personal hygiene routines. While seniors might not bathe as much as they did when they were younger, a strong odor of urine or body odor, as well as a reluctance to get out of dirty clothes, mean that it is time to intervene. A significant deterioration in hygiene and personal care practices is a sure sign that a senior is physically and/or psychologically unable to meet their own needs.
New or deteriorating health problems often mean that a senior needs a thorough medical examination and may benefit from at-home assistance. A home health care professional may assist an elderly relative in monitoring vital signs, managing chronic medical problems, navigating a complicated prescription routine, participating in therapy activities to increase independence, and caring for wounds.
Recognize the Signs of Burnout in Caregivers
If you’re currently assisting a loved one with grocery shopping, housekeeping, transportation to appointments, or prescription management, be open and frank about how this additional burden is impacting you, your family, and your schedule. Caring for others is both mentally and physically draining. It’s important for caregivers to identify the symptoms of caregiver burnout and recognize when it’s time to delegate responsibility. Hiring a home health aide could be the best option for anyone involved if the level of treatment a loved one needs has become too much for you to manage, or your level of involvement is causing anxiety or depression.
Looking for a caregiver? We have high-quality, affordable caregivers you can count on here at Right Choice Home Care. We give full and free consultations to all who are interested in and in need of quality home care for their loved one. No question is too big or small. Make the Right Choice!