First with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and Chanukah now behind us, the New Year brings with it the hope of fresh opportunities and new beginnings. No doubt this holiday season was filled with friends and family gathering, bringing people together to celebrate and enjoy each other. However, some people may have noticed some changes in their parents that may leave them questioning if their loved one is safe living independently at home.
Parents, aunt, uncles, and other beloved seniors in your life have been self-sufficient for so long it may not occur to you that living alone without regular support could becoming increasingly challenging for these individuals. Here are some basic indicators you should be on the lookout for when considering introducing or increasing the level of care or support your loved one receives at home:
Physical Fitness & Well Being: What kind of physical shape your loved one is in is a very good way to begin your review of the home environment. How easy it is for the senior to move around and throughout the home? Is there a loss of strength or increased fatigue? This may indicate the need to introduce home care services. How are their clothes fitting? Weight loss can be indicative of an underlying illness but it can also be a sign that the senior isn’t eating regularly and may be malnourished. This could be the result of ill-fitting dentures, tooth aches or gum infection, or, more importantly, this could be a sign that the senior is forgetting to eat or that meal preparation is becoming too much of a challenge. Behavior like this could be remedied through home care and homemaking services or, possibly, even a move to a senior living community.
Hygiene: As we get older and our physical ability becomes more and more limited and it can grow increasingly difficult to provide your own personal care. You may want to consider a caregiver is you notice that the personal hygiene and/or grooming of your loved one is beginning to slip. Whether it’s their clothing, hair, or general appearance and cleanliness, if you find hygiene and grooming is starting to falter then you may want to begin the conversation about introducing home care support services.
Mental State: Of course as we age our memories may dull; however, be mindful of any marked changes in your loved one’s mental state. Both long and short term memories may not be as sharp as they once were but be sure to monitor the decline. If your loved one doesn’t recognize you or cannot make sense of who or where they are then seek medical attention immediately. These sudden or drastic changes can be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease but they could also very well indicate something as easily treatable as a UTI.
Condition of the Home: Does your loved one not let you in the house when you arrive to take them somewhere? Do they wait outside or wave from the door once home to avoid letting you in? Is your once hyper-organized mother now letting her home become cluttered? Is your detail oriented father letting his mail pile up unopened? Is the kitchen messy or is the sink filled with dirty dishes? Are there dead or dying plants throughout the house? These are all signs that the upkeep of the home and daily activities may have grown too taxing for your loved one and you may want to consider an in-home a caregiver to help alleviate the stress of maintaining the home.
Emotional Well Being: Growing older isn’t always easy, there is a significant loss as life progresses to reconcile with, without adequate support this can lead to a distressful emotional state. Pay close attention to the mood and disposition of your loved one. Are they quick to anger or increasingly melancholy? Maybe they are inexplicably chipper and upbeat; any (seemingly) sudden change in your loved one’s mood should be something to take note of and address. Check with a doctor to see if there could be a neurological cause for the changes or perhaps loneliness or loss has allowed clinical depression to take hold. Whether the issue can be addressed pharmacologically or through interventions like companionship visits from a local home care agency, addressing and meeting the emotional needs of your loved one will help to increase their quality of life.
All Care Resources’ team of expert clinicians and caregivers are compassionate and trusting professionals who are able to address the individual needs and challenges of each client and their family. All Care Resources prides itself in offering the highest quality home care services, enabling seniors to enjoy an increased quality of life and maintain a sense of independence as they manage their daily lives at home, where they want to remain, safely aging in place.
If you would like to know more about how All Care Resources can support you and your loved one, give us a call at 888.801.8084 and we will be happy provide a telephone consultation and set up a complimentary evaluation to see how we can best meet your needs.