Five Signs Your Loved One is in Need of Constant Care
Recognizing that a loved one is in need of home health care is a challenging process for many families. This change can be a difficult transition in life for caregivers and family members to experience as many seniors appear to be healthy and happy living on their own. Unless there is a major accident or health concern it might be difficult for many families to see the change in health and independence occur.
When is In Home Health Care Needed?
When is it time for someone you love to have a caregiver in the home for long hours at a time? This can be a difficult question for both caregivers and family members to answer. For many people, the thought of having someone unfamiliar in the home multiple days of the week for hours at a time may be uncomfortable at first. In addition, many seniors attempt to downplay or mask the difficulties they may be dealing with in the home to spare their family and caregivers from worrying.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
If you’re having concerns about your loved one’s ability to carry on daily activities in the home safely, it is important to monitor your loved one’s physical and mental abilities. In many instances you may not be aware of the signs that could indicate extended care is needed.
Here are five signs you should be aware of when determining whether your loved one needs extended or overnight care:
1. Mobility Issues and Increased Accidents
Many seniors have issues with their balance, which can cause falls or slips, even when a walker is present. If your loved one seems to be more prone to falls or slips, this could be a sign that they are struggling with their balance and mobility.
Many people get out of bed late at night, whether it is for a drink of water or to go to the bathroom. In a dark house, the fall risk increases. One way to reduce these potential accidents is to have a caregiver there throughout the day and night to help with mobility. With a caregiver at their side, peace of mind is a given.
Caregivers can not only help with mobility and reducing accident risks in the short term, but may also provide guidance and assistance with safe exercises that could improve physical conditions and balance over time.
2. Difficulty Managing Medications
If your loved one is frequently missing medications or taking the wrong dosages, this could be a sign that they need constant care. Whether they have a complex drug regimen, or are struggling with their memory, this could have a serious impact on their overall health.
Having an in home caregiver would ensure that medications are taken on time and in the correct dosage at all times.
3. Significant Weight Loss
Some seniors may feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to prepare an entire meal for themselves. In return, they may begin to eat unhealthy or miss meals altogether. If you notice a significant change in weight, discuss your concerns with your loved one and try to narrow down the cause. If you think they’re skipping meals, this could be a sign that they are in need of additional care.
Having a caregiver in the home could encourage healthy eating habits through nutritious meal preparation and/or cooking. Sometimes, just having companionship and sharing a meal with someone will encourage seniors to eat regularly.
4. Sleep Wandering or Confusion
Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, and anxiety can contribute to poor sleeping conditions and confusion during the night. It can be very stressful not only on the person suffering from sleep problems but also extremely difficult on the caregiver. Perhaps your loved one lives alone, you may not always be by his or her side to make sure they do not wander outside the home.
Other warning signs may include increased agitated behavior usually occurring after dusk such as pacing, yelling or getting violent. If you have concerns of sleep wandering or Sundowner’s syndrome with a loved one it is very important to discuss these sleep disturbances with a doctor immediately. Depending on the circumstances overnight in home care may help give caregivers peace of mind during the night.
5. Personal Hygiene Issues
Poor hygiene may be a sign that an elderly senior is need help in the home. In many instances, if the senior does not take regular baths or showers, comb their hair, brush their teeth, etc it may be because they have concerns of safety in the bathroom. Some seniors do not feel safe or are not able to do these things on their own. Having a caregiver in the home allows for an elderly person to help take care of themselves better and may give them a stronger sense of pride in their appearance.
Worries About Getting Out on the Road
While it may not necessarily be a sign that a caregiver is needed, many families do worry about their older loved ones driving on their own. Limited driving ability can leave some seniors feeling helpless. Just because your loved one may not be up for driving on their own, doesn’t mean they need to be tied to their home all day and night. Having a caregiver at home allows for appointments to be made and shopping trips to be planned all with a peace of mind. Caregivers can drive your loved one around safely cutting down the chances of any major accidents or even fender benders while helping seniors maintain their independence.
There’s No Place Like Home
Many people are resistant to leaving their home for the unfriendly confines of assisted living and want to stay home for as long as possible. Having caregivers in the home at all times allows this to be accomplished and is generally a less expensive option than assisted living.
If you feel that your loved one needs extended in home healthcare, it is important to share your concerns with them, listen and understand their concerns, and find a solution together.
Have additional questions or concerns about how to determine if your loved one needs extended, in home health care, contact us today!