Although aging is a natural part of our life course, it’s still hard to see our parents and elderly relatives trying to cope with everyday living – especially when we are too busy to be there for them at all times.
So, if you are already considering getting your elderly loved one home care, but are unsure if it’s absolutely necessary, there are things you can watch out for to be certain. Here are some telltale signs your loved one needs home care:
1. Forgetfulness and confusion
Everyone forgets things sometimes, no matter the age. However, if you observe in your elderly loved one several instances of forgetfulness and/or confusion, there can be a serious reason. For example, if your loved one is suddenly unable to tie their shoelaces on their own or have trouble simply putting on the right shoe on the right foot, they may be showing an early sign of dementia.
Sometimes, bouts of forgetfulness – such as burning food and forgetting to turn off the stove, leaving the water running, or forgetting to lock the door – although seemingly innocuous, can pose a danger to life and property.
Other concerning episodes include not turning up for doctor’s appointments, missing bill payments, and confusion even in familiar surroundings.
2. Lack of coordination or mobility concerns
The elderly can suffer from imbalance, slow movement, and poor eyesight, which can greatly impair their ability to drive and move around the house. These things can also lead to falls which, in turn, can cause hip fractures or brain trauma. To prevent these from happening, ensure that your elderly loved one's home is fitted with safety aids and equipment and that they get the home care support they need.
3. Deterioration in personal hygiene
Poor or improper hygiene is another sign that your loved one may no longer be capable of taking care of their personal grooming needs. This should be quite obvious, especially if they have always been painstakingly meticulous about their appearance. Dirty clothes, bad odor, unwashed and unkempt hair, overgrown fingernails, and an overall disheveled look are signs you should not miss.
4. Malnutrition or general ill health
If your loved one who used to look the picture of health begins to seem gaunt and underweight, or becomes chronically ill, it can mean that they are not able to prepare food to adequately meet their nutritional needs. Of course, a doctor or nutritionist can ascertain this better and be able to check if your loved one is suffering from a specific deficiency. They can then recommend dietary changes and prescribe the required supplements.
Your loved one may be mentally fine, but they may find the effort they need to put into preparing and cooking proper meals physically taxing. As such, they may require home care.
5. Neglected surroundings
If you notice clutter building up with the passage of time, as well as piles of dirty clothes, pots, and pans gathering, your loved one may no longer have the physical strength to take care of even the most mundane household tasks. If what used to be a well-manicured lawn is overtaken by weeds, and if missing picket fences remain missing, you may need to consider home care for your loved one.
You may also need to address possible safety and security concerns, as burglars may assume that there's no one at home just by seeing the broken fences and weed overgrowth.
Help with Miami Valley Homecare
Remember, your elderly loved one may not ask for your help. So it falls on you to notice the signs that they need home care, as well as help with other things.
If this is a concern, you can always approach us at Miami Valley Homecare. We have extensive experience providing senior home healthcare and assisted living services in Centerville, Kettering, Xenia, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Dayton, and Oakwood, Ohio.