It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that an aging loved one may need the help of an in home caregiver to assist them with essential daily tasks. We all want to believe that our parents, or other extended family will always be capable of caring for themselves and living independently, safely. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.
Sooner or later it’s likely that your loved one will need some form of professional care to remain in their home as long as possible. And it’s in everyone’s best interest to see they get the help they deserve early, before an accident or worse could take place. Let’s explore some of the most common signs that this time has come.
- They are unable to keep up with their hygiene.
When you visit your loved one, you likely take notice of their appearance and personal hygiene. Do they appear to have recently showered? Are their clothes clean? How do their hair, skin, and nails look? If any of these appear below the standard of care you would wish for them, this is where a professional caregiver, even just a few days a week, can step in to be of assistance.
- The house is becoming unkempt.
Again, another thing to note when you visit is the state of their home. A little clutter here and there is perfectly natural (for all of us). But should you start to notice things like dishes piling up, expired food sitting out, excess dust and dirt on surfaces, or strange odors, it may be time to talk to a professional home care company about your options. More than just hiring a housekeeper to keep things neat, a professional caregiver can assist with these tasks, plus care for the mental and emotional wellness of your loved one.
- They are showing signs of forgetfulness.
Forgetfulness is common as we age. Minor things here and there are hardly cause for concern. Where it does become concerning is when important, and potentially dangerous, things are being overlooked. For example, missing a doctor’s appointment repeatedly can have serious health consequences, as can forgetting to take medication as prescribed. Additionally, forgetfulness can lead to dangers like forgetting to turn off the stove, or checking food for expiration dates. This is where the extra eyes and hands of a professional caregiver can really help.
- Accidents and injuries are becoming more frequent.
Life should not be spent waiting for that next dreaded phone call that your loved one had an accident and it resulted in a broken bone, or major injury. When such incidents appear to be coming on more frequently, it’s time to take immediate action. It is well worth being proactive and seeking professional care to assist your loved one throughout the day so that your heart doesn’t sink every time your phone rings.
- They express loneliness.
Let’s talk about the emotional side of caregiving for a moment. Even if your loved one appears perfectly fine to care for themselves physically, how are they doing emotionally? Do you they receive regular face-to-face interaction from other people? Do they have the ability to get out of the home and enjoy activities? No one wants to feel shut in their own home. This leads to depression and an overall pool quality of life. With the help of a professional caregiver, your loved one will have regular social interaction and assistance to get them out of the home when desired.
- You worry about them often.
Finally, and most importantly, if you feel like hours of your day are spent thinking – and worrying – about your loved one, then it’s time to put a system in place to give you back peace of mind. Knowing your loved one is being seen regularly and receiving professional care will allow you to be fully present in your own life, and enjoy the time you get to spend with that loved one.
Do you or someone you know show one or more of these signs? It might be time to have a conversation with a home care agency who can offer you advice and options.