Aging in place is an important decision that provides comfort and convenience to your loved one. Sometimes, a change in functioning may make you think it's time for some extra help at home. What are some signs your patient needs home care?
1. Changes in Home Tidiness
Watch for neglect of household responsibilities like keeping the fridge stocked with food, opening mail, and doing the laundry. Look for uncleaned spills and stains on furniture, spoiled food, unfed pets, and utilities being turned off or calls from bill collectors.
In addition to cleanliness, look for potential dangers. Items left on the floor can be a potential fall risk. Tidy up cords to ensure that they are neatly tucked away and can't cause danger. If there are safety concerns you can't address on your own, it may be a good idea to bring in outside help to care for your loved one.
2. Changes in Mental Abilities
These changes can start with simple things like someone not being able to keep track of time, or perform once familiar tasks. Other signs include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Forgetting important things like taking medications
- Sleeping for most of the day
- Loss of interest in hobbies
These decline in mental ability could turn into something serious. For example, forgetting to take a crucial medication could negatively impact your loved one's health. Alternatively, taking the same medication too frequently or taking the wrong medications can have serious repercussions as well.
3. Changes in Personal Appearance
Sometimes the first red flag is a lack of interest in personal hygiene, including things like infrequent showering or a strong body odor. Your once meticulous loved one may show a decline in grooming habits like having messy hair or wearing dirty clothes.
Weight loss is also an indicator that your loved one may need home care. Without anyone there to monitor what they are eating, many seniors find themselves overeating or under eating. Seniors often overindulge in sweets, sodas, fast foods and other unhealthy items. This is especially concerning for men and women suffering from diabetes. With no one else at home, some seniors find themselves eating less and less every day.
4. Caregiver Burnout
Often, it is not so much the patient exhibiting signs you may need home care, it is the caregiver. Caregiver burnout is real, and often overlooked. Home care should be considered when the demands of being a full-time care giver begin to be overwhelming. When you see the first signs of anxiety or depression, bringing in outside help can be a much needed relief.
The signs above don't necessarily mean someone needs to move to a facility, they may just need an extra pair of hands.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact your local Caring team today to learn more!