Sophia and her daughter, Claire, looked forward to Sunday afternoons. Together, they prepared delicious meals that Sophia ate throughout the week. One week, Claire opened the fridge and saw all of the meals from the previous week, still wrapped and untouched. When Claire asked her mother about the food, Sophia responded that it was too difficult to reheat them, so she had just been eating fruit and crackers. Claire knew then that it was time to start looking for a caregiver to provide in-home care.
It’s difficult to accept that our loved ones may need help with normal activities of daily living. “Admitting they need help and accepting assistance is not easy for people as they age,” said Paul Hogan, Founder and Chairman of Home Instead Senior Care in the agingcare.com article, 20 Warning Signs Your Parent Needs Help at Home. “It represents a loss of independence. Denial plays a major role – and signs get ignored.”
But if your loved one does need care, it is important for his or her health and safety to get it sooner than later. Here are three ways to tell that your loved one might be ready for in-home care.
She doesn’t eat.
As in the case of Sophia and Claire, irregular eating habits are one early sign of decline. If your loved one is eating sporadically, choosing unhealthy options, or fasting for extended periods of time, then it’s time to look for a service provider, such as Amada Senior Care in Laguna Woods. These caregivers are happy to visit your loved one’s home and prepare meals or help clean the dishes.
Related link: Honor good nutrition by eating healthy
Showers are less frequent.
If you notice a significant decline in your loved one’s personal hygiene, then there may be a problem. This could be due to memory loss, decreased abilities in sight or smell, fear, or discomfort.
“More serious,” added agingcare.com contributor Carol Bradley Bursack. “is when a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is in the bathroom and doesn’t understand why there is water running on them, or believes the drain that may suck them down. They just don’t understand what you are trying to ‘do to them.’”
Sometimes the problem can be solved by installing a bath or shower that provides easier access for those with limited mobility. Also, in-home care can offer assistance in performing laundry and other light cleaning duties.
There’s an inch of dust on the furniture.
As a matter of safety, your loved one’s home should be evaluated for potential hazards. An expert can determine the condition of carpet, cords, lighting, handrails, indoor stairs, and other factors. Given that, if you begin to notice signs of clutter and dishes piling up or the house is dirty overall, then in-home care can perform basic household duties to maintain the general cleanliness of the home.
Related link: Are the germs in your carpet making you sick?
Should your loved one’s needs escalate beyond the in-home care spectrum, visit bestnursinghomes.com or aplaceformom.com to find an assisted living facility or nursing home that is right for his or her needs.
By watching for these signs and talking with your loved one about the need for assistance, in-home care can be a welcome and positive service for those you love.