Most seniors are happy and independent, and they want to age where they’re most comfortable – at home. However, growing older often brings physical and mental health changes that interfere with their active and independent lifestyle.
These changes don’t mean a senior necessarily needs to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Family members can sometimes step in to provide supervision and support at home, but hiring a professional in-home caregiver may become necessary at some point. The caregiver benefits both the senior and their family caregivers.
The Signs That Help is Needed at Home
There are visual indicators that signal a need for help at home:
- Personal appearance and household cleanliness. Changes in these areas are often indicators of a shift in their physical and/or mental status. Is unopened mail piling up? Is someone who was once meticulous over their appearance wearing dirty clothes and not styling their hair?
- Household chores that were once easily done appear aren’t being performed very often. As a result, there may be a marked increase in clutter around the house, and there may also be unsanitary conditions. This is a clear warning that outside help is needed to help maintain safety and health in the home.
- Personal hygiene is being ignored. Is there a strong smell of urine or body odor? Are they refusing to change out of dirty clothes? A noticeable decline in personal care and grooming habits is a major sign that a senior is struggling to meet their own needs.
- New health issues or current issues are worsening. This often indicates a senior could benefit from outside help at home. For example, a trained caregiver can help an aging adult monitor their vital signs, ensure they take medications at the right time and with the proper dosage, manage chronic medical conditions, care for wounds, and participate in physical therapy exercises.
Having the Home Care Discussion
These have proven to be helpful tips for talking about in-home care with seniors:
- Talk openly about your observations and concern. Ask them what they are thinking about what’s happening, what you can do to help, and possible solutions. Discussing in-home care as an option is very effective during these discussions.
- Discuss how having a caregiver would personally benefit you. Perhaps your performance at work is suffering. You may also not have ample time to fulfill your other roles as a spouse or parent. Focus on how you would both benefit from having an extra pair of hands to help out on a regular basis.
- Remember a primary fear they have: being moved out of their home into a facility. Few aging adults readily agree to immediately move into a new environment, away from family and friends. Home care can provide the transition necessary before a senior can relocate comfortably.
- Enlist the help of their doctor. An understanding physician who shares your concerns will reinforce that accepting in-home care is a critical part of safely aging in place. A respected friend can also help support the decision by the senior to receive help from a caregiver.
- Many seniors are lonely and isolated. If this is this case for your loved one, emphasize that they’ll be having a companion spending time with them, someone they can talk with and enjoy being with.
Once You’ve Had the Home Care Discussion, Let Us Help!
Help At Home can help your loved one get comfortable with in-home care. Our experienced caregivers understand the transition can be challenging for some seniors, and their compassionate care quickly removes barriers and helps seniors willingly accept assistance.
We’ve been helping seniors in the Chevy Chase, MD area for 20 years! Contact us today, and let’s have a conversation concerning your loved one, the level of care they need, and how we can meet that need. We understand how important it is that you find a compassionate and experienced agency to work with. Get to know us – we really do care.