It’s not always easy to immediately determine when someone you care about needs assistance from a home care service. Sometimes, yes, the situation may be obvious. If a loved one’s mobility or general ability to care for themselves has been substantially and suddenly impacted by an illness, chronic condition, or injury, it may be fairly clear that you need to coordinate with a home care provider to ensure their safety and quality of life are not put at risk.
However, there are also instances when you may not be entirely certain if taking this step is necessary at the time. This is particularly common when the loved one in question is elderly. As they grow older, their ability to care for themselves may diminish at a relatively gradual pace. You thus need to pay attention to certain signs indicating now is the time to arrange for in-home assistance.
Pay attention to key factors every time you visit your loved one. For example, if they are beginning to lose the ability to take care of themselves, you might notice that their home is no longer as tidy as it once was. This could indicate they are not keeping up with chores, either because they are no longer physically able to, or because they are forgetting to as a result of cognitive decline.
Check their kitchen during visits. Does it appear they have enough groceries to keep themselves fed? Are the groceries they do have sufficient for their nutritional needs? A person who generally used to cook nutritious meals for themselves may start to rely primarily on frozen meals when their abilities to attend to their own needs begin to decline. Of course, if you notice signs of substantial weight loss, this is another sign that you need to enlist the help of a caregiver.
Personal hygiene problems also indicate the need for home care. Don’t overlook the importance of this issue. A loved one who neglects their personal hygiene could end up developing health problems that will require further treatment. You want to guard against this, stopping minor issues in their tracks before they develop into more significant problems. A caregiver can offer assistance in this capacity.
You likely also understand the importance of monitoring your loved one’s cognitive abilities. Do they seem to be experiencing memory difficulties? Do they have trouble focusing on the same topic long enough to sustain a conversation? When you are spending time with them, do they ask the same questions or make the same remarks multiple times in a relatively short span of time? Do they frequently forget basic names and details that they should remember? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, begin looking into homecare options sooner rather than later.
Finally, be sure to pay attention to your loved one’s mood. While it can sometimes be natural for someone’s emotions to change as they get older, if it appears they are significantly more depressed or lonely than they used to be, contact us to discuss future plans.
Remember that many of these warning signs reveal themselves gradually. You should monitor your loved one’s condition as vigilantly as possible to ensure they receive the proper care as soon as it becomes necessary.