When do seniors need Home Care Services? What are the signs to look for when loved ones, family members might need assistance with day to day living?
Most seniors want to stay in their home as long as possible. For many loved ones, that’s the goal as well. However, we also want what’s best for mom and dad, even if that means making hard decisions about their care.
Do you suspect that your mom or dad could use home care services, but they insist that everything is fine and they can take care of themselves? Unfortunately, it’s very common for seniors to avoid reaching out for help. Instead, you should look for these signs that they could use some assistance, even if they insist that they don’t.
Accidents in the Home
The home is a place where you’re supposed to be safe. Unfortunately, as we age, our houses can be dangerous. There are many common injuries sustained by seniors that are easily avoidable, but if your loved one isn’t able to avoid them, it might be a sign that they could use a little help in the home.
For example, if your loved one slips and falls in the bathroom or burns themselves on the stove in the kitchen, they could use some help making their home safer, as well as someone to check in on them regularly.
Mom or dad refusing to fess up to accidents in the house? Look for signs that they have experienced an accident. That includes cuts or burns on the arms and hands, as well as bruises all over the body.
It’s normal for seniors to be a little forgetful. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, but if their forgetfulness is affecting their health, it’s time to look into home care services.
It is important for seniors to make and keep regular doctor’s appointments, especially if they have a medical condition that is being managed or monitored. It can be downright dangerous if your loved one regularly misses appointments because they always forget.
Are they forgetting to take the dog outside so he’s having accidents in the house? Do they keep forgetting to turn the ringer on their cell phone? These are signs that your loved one is having a hard time taking care of themselves.
Decline in Housekeeping
A decline in housekeeping is a sign that mom or dad could use some help around the house, but it is important to compare it to their normal housekeeping routine. For example, if dad never did a lot of dusting, it isn’t worrisome if his TV is dirty, but if he always kept up with the dishes and suddenly he doesn’t, it’s a sign that he could use a chore list and some outside help to complete those chores.
This also includes outside chores. If Mom used to love to garden, but the flower beds are overgrown with weeds, or dad always treated the lawn, but now it’s overgrown, home care and lawn services should be considered.
Decline in Personal Hygiene
Is mom or dad doing a bad job taking care of themselves? A few signs that they aren’t paying attention to their personal hygiene the way they should include:
- Not brushing their hair
- Not brushing their teeth
- Going days or weeks without bathing
- Wearing soiled clothing
You should also look for changes in behavior, even if it doesn’t seem that alarming on the surface. For example, if mom starts overdoing her makeup and regularly ends up with running mascara or bleeding lipstick, it could be a sign that she is experiencing cognitive decline and could use some support.
Poor Medication Management
It is extremely important to pay attention to the medication that mom or dad takes. If they aren’t taking their medication like they should, they definitely need some help to make sure they are taking their pills as prescribed.
This is perhaps the most important sign to pay attention to because poor medication adherence results in over 125,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. By paying attention to whether they are taking their medication the way they are supposed to, and providing them with home services if they don’t, you may be saving their life.
It’s normal for seniors to insist that they don’t need any help. After all, they have been taking care of themselves for decades. The trouble is, not receiving help when they need it can be disastrous to their health, and it can even result in death. Keep your eyes open for these signs and you can make sure mom and dad get the help they need at home as soon as they need it.