People age differently. One person may be able to live independently well into their 80’s, while another may need in-home care many years before that. There are a number of signs that can indicate that you should look into whether or not your loved one is in need of senior in-home care.
Top Signs To Look Out For
Change in Appearance & Personality
A change in physical appearance and behavior can be a big indicator of your senior loved one needing a little extra help at home. Changes in personal hygiene, poor diet, excessive weight gain or loss, and wearing dirty clothes can indicate that they are having a shift in their physical and/or mental status. This can also signify their functional abilities are beginning to decline.
Loneliness and depression, along with other personality changes, like extreme mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, isolation, and being disconnected from friends and family, may also indicate a need for in-home care.
No Longer Able to Perform Day-to-Day Tasks
When your loved one can’t perform day to day tasks independently, additional help is definitely needed. This can include uncertainty or confusion when performing once-familiar tasks. In-home care provides help with personal needs such as preparing meals, bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Forgetfulness and other behaviors associated with memory loss can be a big sign of in-home care being a necessity. Not keeping up with mail and bills, missing important appointments, increased confusion, and forgetting to take medicine are indicators that your elderly loved one is in need of some extra help at home.
If your loved one has difficulty getting up from being seated or has actually fallen, it is time to look into options for in-home care. When their safety is at risk, getting in-home care for them should be a high priority. In the meantime, check for fall hazards, such as stairs, clutter, and more. Do your best to remove hazards if you can to decrease the risk of a fall. However, once there has been one fall, there will likely be another.
What to do next
Figure Out the Level of Care Needed
Once the decision to have in-home care for your loved one is decided, determine the level of care they need. You can choose from having a few hours of daily care or 24/7 assistance. Think of the different kinds of services your loved one needs. Do they just need a little help with housekeeping or meal prep? Or will they need more in-depth help with daily activities like bathing, grooming, dressing, and more? These are all things you need to discuss and decide on before making any decisions on a caregiver.
Start Researching Your Options
Once you have decided on the level of in-home care your loved one needs, it’s time to start researching your options. There are a number of routes you can take, from enlisting family members to help, to hiring a private caregiver or home care agency. In this case, it can sometimes be best to leave this to the professionals. Caregivers are specifically trained in providing all levels of care to the elderly, tailored to meet your personal needs.
Home Care Options
One option for in-home care is to hire a private caregiver. However, this is usually the more expensive and time-consuming route. You will have to conduct interviews, run background checks, check references, and more when hiring a caregiver. You will also want to create schedules and oversee your loved one’s care. While having a professional caring for your loved one provides a higher level of care than a non-professional caregiver like a family member, it is important to note it is your family’s responsibility to find a replacement if the caregiver is sick and unable to come to work. This could put you in a real bind if it is last minute.
Private Home Care Agency
If the process of hiring and overseeing a caregiver is too costly, time consuming, and/or stressful for you and your family, another option is to hire a private home care agency. They handle the hiring of staff members and ensuring their staff is comprised of quality, professional people with the necessary training and certifications. An agency will find a caregiver that is a good match for your loved one. Furthermore, a good agency will be fully licensed and insured. They will also handle the care schedule so your family can rest easier knowing your loved one will always have quality care.
Located in Little Rock, Ark., we offer a wide range of services to seniors in the six county region that makes up central Arkansas. We provide in-home senior care and a variety of programs, such as Meals on Wheels, Senior Companions, Volunteer Ombudsmen, and more. Our mission is to connect older people and their families with resources to meet the opportunities and challenges of aging.
Contact us today for more information on any of our services. We are ready and willing to help you and your family take the next steps to getting your loved one connected with the best service that fits his or her needs.