When to Consider Home Care
Making the proactive decision to implement senior home care is the safest way to help senior loved ones age in place without waiting for an emergency or crisis that leaves you no choice. While it may be a good decision, that does not necessarily mean it is an easy one.
The good news is that home care agencies are there to serve clients according to their needs at the moment. The types of home care provided cover a wide range of services. We can gradually scale services up as time goes on or as other age-related issues emerge.
But how do you know it’s time for senior home care? If you know the signs to watch out for, you will be a better judge of when senior home care is needed to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one.
7 Signs It’s Time to Consider Senior Home Care
If you haven’t put a long-term care plan in place, now is a good time to start that conversation with parents and senior family members.
In the meantime, here are seven signs that it’s time to consider getting a licensed home care agency lined up.
1. Experiencing more slips, falls, or near misses than usual
There are many reasons seniors are more prone to falling. Age-related vision loss, weakness, loss of balance, medication side effects, gradual malnourishment, or a home that isn’t accessible are all factors.
Unfortunately, fall-related hospital visits or surgeries are shown to exacerbate existing issues and make it harder for seniors to return to their homes independently. Increased falls or slips may mean it’s time for senior home care to prevent a serious injury.
2. The refrigerator and cupboard are bare
The older we get, the harder it is to prepare and cook meals, especially for those who live alone. Fear of driving or lack of stamina makes it more challenging for seniors to get to the grocery store, which can result in an empty fridge or a bare pantry.
Left to their own devices, seniors are less likely to eat full meals, and they’re more apt to rely on processed foods, contributing to weight loss, lack of energy, or unmanaged medical issues. This, in turn, makes seniors more vulnerable to falling, illness, or the escalation of chronic health conditions.
Homecare agencies offer errand running, grocery shopping, and meal prep as a regular part of their services. Once you enlist their help, your senior loved one has access to fresh, delicious, and healthy pre-made meals they can easily heat up or enjoy in the company of their caregiver.
3. Weight loss or signs of physical decline
Weight loss is another sign that seniors aren’t eating as they should or suffering from unaddressed health issues. Caregivers get seniors safely to and from routine appointments with physicians, specialists, dentists, and optometrists. We can take clients out for meals and keep them company at home while they eat a square meal and help them wind down.
Once a caregiver regularly checks in, families are amazed at how their senior loved ones can look and act years younger again.
4. Hygiene has slipped
Did you know that the bathroom is considered one of the most dangerous rooms in the house? The potential for slipping, falling, and landing on hard surfaces is high. As a result, seniors who’ve had near misses are more likely to skip baths and showers and resort to cursory sponge baths.
Age-related physical decline makes them more likely to have incontinence issues or struggle with day-to-day hygiene tasks such as shaving, doing their hair, changing their bed linens, or doing their laundry. Any signs that your senior loved one is no longer keeping up with their normal hygiene routine is a red flag indicating they need personal care support.
5. Memory loss
We all forget the occasional name or an appointment, but seniors experiencing memory loss will be “forgetful” in ways that are not normal at all. Examples include:
- Forgetting to pay bills
- Skipping appointments regularly
- Asking the same questions repeatedly
- Getting lost while driving around their neighborhood or unable to find their way home from running errands
- Skipping meals/showers/etc.
- Found wandering outside at night or during the day
- General confusion
Any signs your loved one is experiencing significant memory loss means they need help to age in place safely, securely, and independently.
6. The house is untidy, cluttered, or unsanitary
Housework is called work for a reason. Most seniors cannot keep a house up on their own, especially some of the more sanitary requirements such as cleaning the toilets and shower/bath, sweeping and mopping floors, or running the vacuum around.
In addition, vision loss makes it more challenging to see spills or crumbs on the floor or countertops, leading to pest infestations that compound the problem.
Your companion caregiver is there to help with light housekeeping, doing the laundry, and changing the sheets and towels to ensure your loved one is living in a clean, tidy, and healthy home.
7. They have to give up the keys
Any senior who has to turn in the car keys will need help with grocery and errand running. Since relinquishing driving rights typically happens in a senior’s later-70s to 80s, it is only a matter of time before more support is needed – assuming it isn’t needed already.
The awareness that it’s time to relinquish driving privileges opens up the conversation about which support systems should be put into place next. Companion services include errand running and grocery shopping. Clients are welcome to come along if they wish, so they get out of the house and attend regular social engagements.
Let Us Help You When It’s Time for Senior Home Care
Here at Affordable Senior Home Care, we make sure senior home care services are tailored to individual needs. We can help as much or as little as you like, and we can always scale services to meet whatever needs arise in the future.
Are any of these signs resonating for you as true about someone you love? If so, schedule a free home assessment from Affordable Senior Home Care. Assessments are offered without any obligation. If you decide you’re not quite ready, we’ll keep your information on file and are happy to step in if you need us down the road.