We love to see our aging spouse, parent, or relative living independently and happily in their homes. However, there will be a time when home care for the elderly would become indispensable. Managing daily chores would then become a challenge on their own.
At that time, they will require medical and/or non-medical support so that they can continue to live a healthier and safer life. If you are apprehensive about whether your elderly loved one needs home care, this blog will remove all your doubts.
Let us understand the critical signs that an elderly needs home care:
1. Unsteady Gait
An unsteady gait is quite common in old age. While navigating through the home, the senior may hold on to the walls or furniture for support. That’s the first sign that they are losing their balance. Though unfortunate, an accidental fall indicates a more pressing matter at hand.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 3 million seniors are treated for falls in emergency departments. Their injuries could be moderate or even potentially life-threatening at times. Moreover, it could put a dent in the seniors’ ability to live life independently.
By making their environment safe and preventing a fall, you can greatly enhance their quality of life. Besides, if the elderly require, a professional caregiver can assist them while climbing stairs, moving, and walking. The caregiver can also ensure the safety of the home environment.
2. Illness or Injury
If your family member has been seriously injured or has not been keeping well due to an illness, it’s a sign that they need elderly care. Especially if a family caregiver does not live close by, home care for the elderly becomes crucial for a speedy recovery.
Besides, a professional caregiver can:
- Provide respite care
- Ensure that seniors stick to their medication schedule
- Assist with household chores
- Prepare meals
For a bedridden elderly loved one, professional in-home care services can assist them when using the restroom, bathing, and dressing.
3. Impossible to Drive Safely
Asking the senior to give up driving can be difficult. However, if they can no longer drive safely due to age-related conditions, intervention becomes necessary. Without a doubt, that would curb their independence, but safety comes first.
You can hire a professional caregiver who can run errands, attend social events and appointments with seniors at least a few days a week. That would not only ease the transition but also eliminate the risk associated with driving.
In fact, some seniors feel relieved not having to drive anymore when someone else can do it for them.
4. Difficulties with Chores
If you notice unpaid bills and a cluttered house way too often, it’s a sign to hire home care for the elderly. You may also notice a lack of personal hygiene – not by choice. It may be due to changes in cognition or mobility limitations.
It’s common for elderly patients to fall behind on personal care (bathing, dressing, etc.), planning and organization, and household chores. They may not only find these tasks challenging but also unsafe.
Elderly care, on the other hand, can greatly reduce this stress. Seniors can achieve peace of mind knowing that a professional caregiver can support them at all times, making them feel safe and comfortable.
5. Changes in Appetite
Has your loved one stopped eating regular meals? Do they not feel like cooking anymore? Changes in appetite and metabolism are the common signs that they need professional in-home care. Seniors need to get all the nutrition they can get to stay healthy and strong.
If your loved one doesn’t have the ability or energy to cook, a caregiver can help. Besides, they can make meal plans and do grocery shopping as well. However, home care shouldn’t mean completely changing the elderly’s routine when, in fact, it should complement and enhance it.
Irrespective of which home care services you choose, make sure that they are tailored to your elderly loved one’s needs. Apart from that, you have to decide if the senior requires round-the-clock care or just a little extra support.
Deciding to hire home care for the elderly is not easy. Be sure to involve the senior in the conversation since they are the ones most affected by the decision. Chances are they may deny the help. For this reason, you should introduce home care incrementally and slowly over time.Tags: Illness, Issue with driving, Unsteady gait