Your parents have never been the type to need help with anything. Not only have they always been on top of their work, chores, and personal lives, but they’ve been on top of yours as well. Then again, you’re now starting to see changes in them and their lifestyles that may indicate otherwise.
If you find yourself asking what’s the next step for your loved one, it may be time to consider in-home elderly care. How can you tell if it’s what your elderly family member needs?
Signs that Your Loved One Needs In-Home Elderly Care
Recognizing the signs that your loved one may require in-home care might be difficult. Their physical and mental changes could be minor, or it may be hard to admit your once-strong loved one has now become dependent on others. If you notice one or more of these signs, elderly care may be the best option for your loved one.
Differences in Their Personal Appearance or Hygiene
If your mother is still wearing the same outfit that she was wearing yesterday or if your father’s hair and nails have doubled in length since the last time you’ve seen him, it could be more than just a sign they haven’t had time to take care of themselves.
From refusing to take their vitamins or prescribed medications to not making it to the bathroom, there are many actions to take note of, including:
- A lack of brushing their teeth or showering, indicated by a strong odor
- Declining grooming habits such as untrimmed nails or uncut and uncombed hair
- Wounds or scars on their bodies, suggesting difficulty walking or climbing stairs
- An increase in weight, hinting at a lack of healthy exercise
- A decrease in weight, implying minimal food consumption
About 9% of seniors between the ages of 75 and 84 need assistance with daily activities such as bathing, brushing their teeth, and dressing. However, more than 21% of seniors will require in-home care as they continue to age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You can decide to step in to assist with in-home care for your loved ones, or you can call an aide at an agency. A caregiver will:
- Monitor signs of decline in personal care habits
- Keep track of and administer medications
- Take walks to keep them active
- Watch over or assist with tasks such as showering.
Memory Issues or Getting Lost
Is your loved one becoming more forgetful or continually wandering away from home? These are crucial signs to watch out for and respond to by having an open discussion about in-home care with your senior.
You cannot supervise and care for your family member 24/7. An in-home healthcare professional looks after your mother, father, or grandparent to keep them safe from falls, accidents, or getting lost.
Difficulty in the Kitchen
Cooking can be another indicator of whether your elderly family member needs help. Cooking requires skills, patience, and the ability to stand on your feet for extended periods. If your loved one has begun to move slowly around the house, it may be a stretch to expect them to stand in front of a stove, cooking three meals a day.
Cooking can be dangerous for frail or forgetful family members. They can risk exhaustion, foot pain, and even injuries if they happen to fall. Furthermore, cooking isn’t the right chore for your loved ones if they’re suffering from memory issues, causing them to forget when they have something on the stove or in the oven.
A caregiver will provide assistance in the kitchen, ensuring that healthy meals are prepared and served safely and correctly. They will also pay attention to your loved ones’ special diets, nutrition plans, and allergies to keep them safe and healthy.
An Unkept Home
There’s no such thing as a perfectly kept house. However, if you’ve noticed a thick layer of dust lining all unused surfaces in your parents’ home or your parents have been using dirty dishes since there are no clean ones in their house, it’s time to take charge.
In-home elderly care workers can assist by tying up loose ends around the house. By mopping, sweeping, dusting, and organizing, a caregiver can ensure that your loved one is comfortable in a tidy home and safe from lung irritations and diseases like silicosis and asthma.
Other Signs You Should Consider Elderly Care
You should consider contacting an in-home care agency when your loved one is:
- Isolating themselves
- In constant need of medical attention
- Recovering from a physical or mental illness
Daily help for you and your loved one from an experienced home care nurse can relieve worry and stress.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout: When Do You Need Help?
Caring for an elderly relative can become overwhelming. Between your job, your own family, and your new responsibilities of cooking and cleaning up after your seniors, there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Many caregivers focus on the health and happiness of their relatives without considering their own needs. If this continues, you can develop caregiver burnout. Symptoms of caregiver burnout include:
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling impatient
- Feeling exhausted, even when you get enough sleep
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
If you notice any of these signs, consider contacting providers for quality care at home. They will lessen your load, saving you from the stress and anxiety of worrying about the well-being of your loved one. They’ll pick up the slack when you can’t be there.
Turn to Crystal Home for Advice on In-Home Care
From part-time to live-in help, from meal planning and housekeeping to post-hospitalization and hospice care, Crystal Home Care provides specialized in-home elderly care to fit your needs. You are not alone, and help is out there. To find out more about what we do and to get a free consultation, call (708) 535-4300 today!