Watching your parents age can cause you to overthink their situation. Many seniors require assistance at some point in their lives, and their family is often left wondering when the right time to start is. In-home care is growing in popularity as it provides seniors with the care they need while allowing them to stay largely independent in their own homes. We’ve been contacted by many families concerned about their loved one who ask how they can know when it’s time to hire a caregiver. Here are some of the top signs we often tell people to look for.
A very common “side effect” of aging is becoming more forgetful. While this is completely normal and safe once in a while, if it becomes a habit, it might be time to get a caregiver involved. Forgetting where they put something is one thing, forgetting to do daily tasks is another. Is your loved one consistently forgetting to take medication, or are they forgetting if they already took it that day? As we know, medication is crucial to maintaining health, and skipping or adding doses can cause serious problems. If your loved one can no longer remember their schedule on their own, it may be time to call in someone to assist them. Other forms of forgetfulness to keep an eye out for include:
- Forgetting to eat and drink regularly
- Forgetting how to operate appliances
- Forgetting important events that they usually remember
- Forgetting words or what they were going to say
- And more.
If you notice a severe jump in forgetful tendencies, it’s wise to get your senior to a doctor. Dementia and Alzheimer’s set in later in life most times, so you want to get them checked. When caught early, there are ways to slow the process of the diseases to help your loved one stay sharper longer.
A Lack Of Personal Hygiene
The second thing to watch for is a drop in personal hygiene. Elderly people often find it harder to navigate around and move freely due to joint problems, weakened muscles, and other age-related conditions. This can make it hard for them to properly look after themselves. They may avoid taking showers because it’s too hard for them or they’re afraid of getting hurt. In some cases, seniors may forget to shower together. Laundry can be hard for elderly people to do by themselves because it involves heavy lifting and operating washers and dryers. They may have a hard time getting out to go and get their hair cut or their teeth cleaned. If you notice your loved one taking less care of themselves, try to identify the reasons why. As we’ll discuss in a bit, some seniors suffer from depression and mood changes as they age. Lack of proper hygiene could point to this as well, which would require some professional help to reverse.
Trouble Keeping The House Neat And Clean
Even perfectly healthy young adults have a hard time keeping the house or apartment clean. Imagine how hard it is when you lack mobility, have aches and pains, or are scared of getting hurt due to your age? Elderly people can have a very hard time maintaining their homes as they get older. Bending down and reaching up high can be hard, using step stools and ladders becomes extremely unsafe, and lugging around heaving machines like vacuums, lawnmowers, weed whackers, and more is nearly impossible. Your loved one might let the house go in ways they haven’t previously. If you are noticing more clutter, dirty rooms, and unkempt yards, it might be time to get some help. Many home care agencies will help with light housework, but you may need another team to help with the rest. Hire a landscaper or a nice neighbor down the street to mow the grass. Call in a cleaning company once a week. Bring in people that can still get the job done so that your elderly loved one can enjoy a clean and uncluttered home.
Loneliness And Mood Changes
As your family member ages, they may have a more difficult time getting out and about. This can lead to them missing out on their usual social gatherings like brunch, bingo, book clubs, etc. As we all know from the past year, being isolated at home can really take a toll on your mental health. Seniors who are confined to their homes due to health concerns will grow lonely very quickly. This can lead to foul moods and even depression disorders. You and your family all have jobs, children, and other things to take care of so you can’t spend as much time with your elderly loved one as you might like to. A caregiver can give them the social interactions they need in a one-on-one setting. Many seniors benefit from their caregiver’s friendship because they aren’t family! We all love our families dearly, but it’s nice to have some time with other people once in awhile isn’t it? An in-home caregiver will be that 3rd party, non-family friend that your senior needs. Companionship is one of the most important jobs we do because it keeps clients happy, active, and in good spirits.
Lastly, if your senior has been losing their mobility, it might be a good idea to look into in-home caregivers. Not only will caregivers help your senior complete tasks they no longer have the mobility to do themselves, but they will also help them get around safely. It’s always a relief knowing that someone is home with your loved one in case they fall or get injured. Caregivers are trained to help seniors brush their hair, get dressed, move around the home, complete basic daily tasks, and more. You would be surprised how many things we take for granted each day. When you age, your joints and muscles don’t work as well as they used to, making tasks that were second nature a true struggle to overcome. Having a caregiver there to assist will put your loved one at ease and can avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration.
Have you noticed any of these signs in your loved one? If so, we suggest setting up a consultation with an in-home caregiving service like B’Zoe Home Care! We have a highly trained team of caregivers that can help seniors in a variety of non-medical ways. We pair clients with caregivers based on needs, personalities, and lifestyles to ensure the relationship is positive. Call us today at (206) 953-4900 to speak with our team and receive a FREE consultation. Learn more about our services at https://bzoehomecare.com/. We guarantee that your loved one will enjoy their visits from our caregivers! We look forward to speaking with you soon.