It may come a time when you must consider finding in-home care for a loved one, and this perspective should not be ignored, because the longer you postpone, the more difficult the situation will get, in most cases.
But how do you know when is the right time to seek help? Older people often do not want to admit that they encounter problems in taking care of themselves; some of them may not even realize that they have a problem. Warning signs do not always manifest explicitly, but you can still learn how to recognize them, as they fall into a few general categories.
- Poor house maintenance
General housekeeping is not easy and, as people age, it becomes more and more difficult for them to keep up with it; therefore, you may notice uncharacteristic things including dirt and dust, lots of clutter, dirty laundry and unpleasant smells in the house. They are signs that assistance is required.
- Inability to keep up with administrative tasks and appointments
We have a lot of administrative work to do, from keeping track of payments and mail, to making different appointments. If these tasks are neglected, it is time to address your concerns, as they are most likely real.
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
If your loved one used to have hobbies or favorite activities and you notice that they are now neglected, it is time to worry that something is not quite right.
Any illness can be dangerous once your loved one reached a certain age, and it is definitely a reason to worry. If the diagnostic includes Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other degenerative illness, there is no doubt that you must consider all the assistance that you can get. Your loved one may start forgetting, experience difficulties in getting up, maintaining balance and even doing common things like eating or using the toilet.
- Poor health and nutrition
Signs of poor health may appear due to inadequate nutrition or medication. If you notice that your loved one is not looking too well and experiences weight loss or gain, check the fridge for food spoiling (which indicates that meals are neglected) or unhealthy foods. Also make sure to check the medication and schedule a visit with the doctor to determine if it was taken properly.
- Superficial personal hygiene
Neglecting personal hygiene and cleanliness manifests in less frequent baths and superficial grooming habits. They are another sign that you must consider in-home assistance for your loved one.
Facing the perspective of in-home care can be psychologically difficult for the persons who needs assistance, because admitting that the day has come when they cannot take care of themselves alters their comfort zone and typically comes with a lot of anxiety. However, they must be explained that with proper in-home care they can keep living actively and independently in their home. Specialists say that it is important to involve your loved one in the decision to choose in-home care services, because it will make them feel empowered. For some, the thought of not having to do everything on their own anymore may even be appealing.
For this article, we interviewed Mike Lising of Paradise In-Home Care in Walnut Creek, California. Mike told us that choosing in-home care is often a difficult decision for families. He advises families to plan ahead so that they don’t have to make a rush decision when home care becomes urgent. Mike and his team at Paradise In-Home Care are happy to counsel families who are looking at future home care decisions.