If your loved one is beginning to show the physical and mental signs of aging, they may require extra care for their safety and comfort. But that doesn’t mean it’s time for an assisted living or a nursing home. In fact, with the right skilled home health, your family member may be able to stay in the house they love for years to come!
To determine if it’s time for your parent or grandparent to receive extra help at home, keep an eye out for any of these 10 red flags.
- A traumatic injury or illness. Even if your loved one received nursing or rehab care following a hospital stay, they may need to continue getting services at home. Skilled home health care agencies can provide nursing assessment and education, wound care, medication management, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
- Frequent forgetfulness. Not being able to remember names or faces on occasion is a normal part of aging. But if your loved one forgets to take their medication, to do their required physical therapy exercises, or to see their doctor, it can be dangerous to their health.
- Mobility issues. Has your loved one had more than one recent fall? Do you notice bumps and bruises on their body? An in-home care therapist can help them improve their mobility and provide recommendations for improving the safety of their home.
- A cluttered, messy, or dirty home or yard. Your loved one may not have the strength or energy to keep up with daily housekeeping. Memory problems or the early signs of dementia can also affect their ability to maintain their home.
- Hygiene issues. A family member who isn’t getting a daily shower or bath may be worried about getting in and out of the tub. If they don’t change their clothes regularly, they may have trouble doing the laundry or taking it up and down stairs.
- Dietary concerns. Someone living on their own may not spend the time cooking healthy meals for themselves. Look for old or spoiled food in the kitchen, watch for significant weight loss or weight gain, and ask them what they have been eating on a daily basis.
- Emotional changes. Isolation or early dementia can cause an older person to become anxious or angry. The inability to do basic duties or activities around the house can leave them frustrated or aggravated.
- Changes in behavior. You may notice your loved one doesn’t do the things they enjoy, like going to church or playing cards. They may not want to socialize with friends and instead, spend their days in front of the TV.
- Concerns from others. Since you can’t be with your loved one all the time, ask their neighbors if they’ve seen anything that worries them, such as your family member wandering around at strange hours or isolating themselves in their home.
- Your stress level. It can be hard taking care of a loved one, especially with everything else you have on your plate. If you can’t dedicate the time your family member needs or you feel stressed caring for them, it may be time to speak with an elderly care agency.