According to a 2018 AARP survey, the average American aged 50+ wants to remain in their current home for as long as possible. Although that’s an admirable goal, most seniors eventually require at least some outside assistance to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). As a concerned family member, knowing if and when your aging loved one needs help around the house isn’t always easy. Here are some telltale signs that it might be time to have “the talk” about home care with your senior. 

Why Do Seniors Reject Home Care?

If your aging loved one is like most, they’ve spent their entire adult life managing a household and various jobs. Most older adults don’t want to be lectured by others about handling their personal affairs— especially their grown children.

Independent seniors often reject the idea of receiving in-home care for these reasons:

  • Denial
  • Privacy concerns
  • Embarrassment
  • Pride and dignity
  • Stubbornness
  • Apathy

Confusion and memory loss caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s can further cloud a senior’s judgment. Once your loved one starts undergoing cognitive changes, it can become even more challenging to convince them to accept outside assistance.

Functional Limitation Warning Signs

If you suspect that your loved one is struggling with functional limitations, look for these red flags:

Physical Signs

Losing or gaining excessive weight, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs that your loved one may need help. Cognitive red flags like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could indicate the onset of dementia.

If poor mobility is affecting your senior’s quality of life, volunteer to assist them around the house by preparing meals, doing laundry, walking the dog, etc. If you suspect that your loved one has cognitive impairment, schedule them a doctor’s appointment so they can be evaluated further.

Frequent Falls

Fall-related injuries and fractures send millions of older adults to hospital emergency departments every year. Vision changes, poorly lit hallways, and slippery bathroom surfaces are all fall hazards for aging-in-place seniors.

If your loved one has fallen several times recently, here’s how to help:

  • Create clutter-free pathways throughout the home.
  • Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom, and on both sides of the stairs.
  • Take them to the eye doctor for a complete vision examination.
  • Work with an occupational therapist to create a safer home environment.

Driving-Related Problems

If your loved one has gotten several tickets or been involved in several accidents, it’s best to have “the talk” about driving safety. Multiple suspicious dents and scrapes on their vehicle could also indicate that it’s time to turn over the car keys for good. Respectfully share your concerns with them while offering safe and reliable transportation alternatives.

Neglected Business

Stacks of past-due bills could indicate that your senior is having trouble managing their financial affairs. Offer to become a custodian on their bank and credit card accounts, which will also help protect them from financial scammers. If they haven’t already done so, encourage your loved one to prepare a will and to choose someone as their durable power-of-attorney (POA).

Not Socializing Enough

Depression, anxiety, and a lack of reliable transportation keep many seniors from socializing as they should. On the other hand, older adults that stay socially engaged tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who are lonely and isolated.

Introduce your loved ones to activities they might enjoy at the local senior center. Teach them how to use the latest technologies, like video chats, online communities, and social media, to stay in touch with old friends— or make new ones. Better yet, let your loved ones know how much they mean to you by calling them on the phone!

Next Steps

Once your loved one agrees to accept help around the house, sources of home care include:

  • Informal caregivers that include family members, neighbors, and friends
  • Community volunteers that work with the aging
  • Senior Transportation and meal delivery services
  • A professional caregiver from a reputable home care provider

Personalized In-Home Care for Seniors in Washington, DC

Once they’ve agreed to accept home care, finding the right person to look after your loved one is often a difficult task. At Help at Home Senior Care, we’ve provided personalized in-home care to families in Chevy Chase, Rockville, and the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area for over 20 years. Our mission is delivering the most comprehensive and compassionate senior home care possible, using a unique, hands-on approach with every client and family we serve.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our in-home services include personal care, transitional care, respite care, geriatric care, end-of-life care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, holiday companion care, and more. To learn more about our top-quality home care services or schedule an initial assessment for a senior in our service area today, please visit