Life's transitional moments have a way of sneaking up on you. While your loved one may seem perfectly fine living independently one moment, in a short time, that can change. For many family caregivers, the difficulty is in seeing exactly when that change occurs.
Unless there is a particular precipitating event, like a debilitating illness or injury, the changes that occur are often so subtle that they go undetected for a time by even the most caring of family members. Added to that, many seniors try to mask the difficulties they are having performing activities of daily living on their own in an attempt to spare their caregivers from anxiety.
Here, then, are some signs that can help you detect when it is time to find support for your loved one with home health care services:
1) An Unkempt Home
If your once scrupulously meticulous mother is no longer keeping her home clean, this may be a sign that she is no longer able to do so.
SeniorCareCentral observes: "If there has been a drastic change in the way that your loved one keeps his home that may be a sign he lacks the energy or physical ability to pick up and clean. Extra support at home can ensure that your loved one lives in a healthy, safe environment."
2) Missed Medications or Incorrect Dosages
For many seniors, an increasingly complicated drug regimen, combined with declining memory, may make it difficult to keep up with how and when to take their medications. A home health care worker can help your loved one stay on track with medications, ensuring that dosages are correct and that medications are taken in a timely manner.
3) Disinterest in eating or unusual weight loss.
The Parkinson's Resource Organization states: "Seniors who live alone can feel overwhelmed at the thought of cooking a meal for themselves and tend not to eat properly or not at all. Ask what they had for their last meal to make sure they are in fact eating." A home care worker can offer assistance by preparing nutritious meals for your loved one. Sometimes, simply having someone with whom to share a meal will encourage your senior to eat.
4) Mobility Issues and Accidents
You may notice that your loved one is struggling with moving around in or out of the home or is becoming more prone to slips and falls. More subtle signs of mobility issues may be things like unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns. A home health care service can help address this issue by providing guidance about ways to make your loved one's home safe and also by working directly with your senior to encourage safe and beneficial exercise to improve mobility.
5) Poor Hygiene
Body odor, bad breath, uncombed hair, and soiled clothing may all be signs that your senior is struggling. Home health care workers can aid with activities of daily living like grooming, bathing, and toileting. Additionally, home care workers can handle laundry, ensuring that your loved one has clean linens on which to sleep and clean clothing to wear.
Confusion about drug regimens can indicate that your loved one needs help.
Living Independently for Longer
While these signs in your senior can be distressing for both you and your loved one, a home health care agency can help your senior to live independently for as long as possible. Finding an agency to help can relieve much of the burden your loved one may be feeling, and it can also bring you peace of mind that comes from knowing that your senior is receiving the support he or she needs and deserves.
To find the right home health agency for your family, contact us today. We stand ready to assist your loved one to enjoy life at home in comfort with the support he or she needs.