Most people only want to do what’s best for their loved ones, but sometimes, it can be hard to know when it’s time to ask for extra help. In-home care services could be a great solution for elderly patients who are struggling on their own but still want to keep their independence and a sense of normalcy within their own residence.
It’s important to remember that every situation is unique, and providers offer different levels of services for their patients’ many different needs. It’s important when looking to choose a home health care that suits your needs and, most importantly, the needs of your loved one. With roughly 12,000 home health agencies in the U.S. alone, you can certainly find a company that can help you. (1)
Here are eight signs that it might be time to hire an in-home senior care service for your loved one:
1. Difficulties with medication
As we get older, we often need to take a lot of medications. As this amount increases, it can become harder and harder to keep track of what to take and when.
One of the most common causes of ER visits from elderly patients is that they have had a bad medication interaction. If your parent, partner, or loved one is having a hard time keeping track of their medications, an in-home senior carer can help to keep a record of all medications being taken.
A carer can also take note of any reactions and check vital signs and mental state for more serious conditions that require monitoring.
2. Difficulties with personal care
If the person in question is experiencing difficulties with daily personal care and grooming or perhaps needs help getting in and out of a wheelchair, an in-home carer might be your best option. Cleanliness is very important to maintain, especially as we age, as it can help with our healing, overall health condition, and general well-being.
3. Difficulty standing for long periods of time
This is a clear indicator that your parent, grandparent, or loved one might be in danger of hurting themselves if left alone for too long. Being unable to stand for long periods can make many aspects of living on your own very hard. Basic chores, such as cooking or sweeping, become near impossible. This is why an in-home carer should be considered at this stage, as they can help with these everyday chores and housekeeping.
They can also help whip up healthy meals, follow any dietary requirements and keep track of food intake if it’s necessary for medical reasons.
4. Still desiring independence
Some people might struggle with the idea of going to a nursing home as they view it as a loss of their independence. In-home care can allow a person to receive the care they need while still being able to stay in their own abode. They can maintain their usual routine while still getting assistance for their medical, personal, and domestic needs.
Not wanting to lose your independence is a natural feeling, and it’s a very sensitive subject for many older people. If you are willing and able to seek the help of an in-home carer, you should.
5. Depression or loneliness
While some people might prefer to stay in their home, living alone can get very lonely, especially if they’ve been used to family or companionship. Elderly citizens who are lonely are even more likely to pass away from a cardiovascular problem than those who aren’t lonely. Your loved ones might be able to take care of themselves pretty well, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need some care. (2)
Hiring an in-home senior care service can not only provide a carer to help out around the house and for medical reasons but also be someone they can talk to and laugh with to help with any feelings of loneliness or depression.
6. Difficulty driving
While the older population is usually more cautious than the younger generations when driving, with age, comes memory loss, slower reflexes, and the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease. Many people over the age of 65 are at risk of getting into an accident or bumping into gutters, fences, and signs due to the above reasons. Another problem with memory is that some might forget that they even hit anything.
A carer can act as transport for your loved ones if needed and take them out to do their groceries, go to the bank, run errands, or simply grab a coffee.
7. Stacks of mail or bills
This can be a sign that your loved one isn’t attending to household needs or paying their important bills. They might keep forgetting or ignoring them, or, in some cases, if they’re alone and lived a life where their partner has taken care of the bills and other correspondence, they might be overwhelmed by these tasks.
A carer can help attend to these important aspects of life and allow them to still live at home. When a bill comes in the mail and needs to be paid, a carer can take note and either notify the patient or the family so that it gets paid. They can also help sort through what’s important and what’s not so that the patient isn’t overwhelmed by the amount.
8. You or your family feel overwhelmed
Caring for the elderly can be extremely stressful, especially if you are trying to look after a parent, partner, or someone you love. If the job is becoming too overwhelming and putting strain on the everyday lives of you and any of your relations, it might be time to seek help. There are providers out there that can help educate you on care and provide the right companionship for your loved one throughout the day and even the night.
If your loved one is struggling to live by themselves due to their age, and you don’t have the means to take care of them full-time, you should definitely consider seeking help from an in-home care service. The right provider can pair you with a career that will take care of your loved one and ensure they are happy and healthy in their own home.
- “FastStats – Home Health Care,” Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/home-health-care.htm
- “How Loneliness Affects the Elderly,” Source: https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-loneliness-affects-the-elderly#1