It can be a difficult subject to broach with an elderly parent or relative, but there will come a time for all of us when some extra assistance is needed to get through the day.
Seniors are often resistant to the idea of bringing a stranger into their home to help out with daily tasks and routines. However, for senior health, prevention is the best medicine.
Introducing home care slowly can be the most effective way to make it stick. Starting with short visits once or twice a week can help seniors warm up to the idea.
As soon as you begin to notice failing health, trouble with simple tasks, or neglecting personal hygiene and housework, it is recommended to get some assistance as soon as possible.
Engaging in healthy lifestyle practices, and detecting health issues before they become unmanageable, are the keys to ongoing senior health.
5 Indicators it might be Time for Senior Home Care
There are certain warning signs to be on the lookout for, that may indicate your senior loved one could benefit from some home care assistance.
5 common indicators it’s time for home care, may include:
- Sloppy housekeeping
- Neglected hygiene
- Weight changes
- Changes in behavior
- Family caregiver burnout
If you notice your loved one is failing to take care of regular housekeeping duties, it could be a sign of a larger problem. It could be the result of decreased strength and mobility, that are making these once simple tasks unmanageable.
It could also be a sign of depression or early onset dementia.
Whatever the underlying reason may be, getting some help from a professional caregiver can help get the situation back on track.
Home caregivers can help with light housekeeping duties, grocery shopping, and meal preparation while offering a new social companion.
If you think the lack of housekeeping is more related to memory issues, it is a good idea to visit a doctor for more knowledgeable input.
Changes in the level of personal hygiene care can also be indicative of other underlying issues.
A slight change in appearance isn’t anything to be too concerned about, but if you are noticing big changes in hygiene and body odour, it may be time for home care assistance.
Home caregivers can offer personal support for tasks like bathing, skin care, dental care, dressing, and grooming. These are obviously highly intimate tasks, and caregivers will act with absolute compassion and discretion to make your loved one feel comfortable.
Fluctuation in weight can also indicate the need for outside help from a professional caregiver.
Weight changes can occur due to poor diet and nutrition, or may also be a result mental illness or dementia.
Whether it is a weight gain or weight loss, it can have a negative impact on overall health.
Severe weight loss could be the result of a changing palate, no interest in cooking, or early onset dementia. Memory loss may contribute to missed meals or forgetting how to properly manage a diet.
It may also be the result of decreased mobility and dexterity making meal preparation burdensome.
Extreme weight gain is usually the result of a poor diet and lack of physical activity. If not attended to early, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Changes in Behavior
If you find your loved one is being uncharacteristically aggressive, or exhibiting unusual signs of behavior, it may be due to the onset of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
It is recommended to visit a doctor or neurological specialist to find out more.
This can be a difficult situation for family caregivers to handle alone, and the assistance of an experienced home caregiver can be a tremendous help.
Family Caregiver Burnout
Family caregivers are typically the first resource for home care assistance when elderly family members start to need extra help with daily routines.
It often starts out light at first, but as time goes on, the need for home care assistance increases.
Family caregivers can easily become burnt out when trying to juggle home care duties, as well as their own families, jobs, and responsibilities.
Professional home caregivers are available to provide respite care, to offer a much needed and well deserved break for family caregivers, to prevent caregiver burnout.