Seniors are encouraged to explore care options for the future. Some elderly individuals may never need personal assistance that comes in the form of long-term care. Others, perhaps due to an unexpected illness, will. The following are signs that long-term care should be a part of a senior’s care plan.
Planning for long-term care is the aging person’s responsibility. Although some seniors will never need long-term care, no one knows for sure whether or not care will become a necessity in the future. The best time to plan for long-term care is while the senior is in good health.
Healthy seniors who look into long-term care options will be prepared if the unforeseeable happens. These individuals have ample time to determine what services are available in the local community and their anticipated costs. Important decisions are best made while the senior is still capable.
An elderly individual might need only minimal long-term care services, while others may require more substantial assistance. Either way, it is difficult to predict how much future care a senior is expected to need. However, certain factors increase the likelihood of needing long-term care.
Age is a good predictor of needing long-term care. As people grow older, the risk for needing long-term care increases. Women generally outlive men, so women have a higher risk for requiring long-term care in comparison to men. Single seniors, too, are more at risk for needing paid care.
Naturally, seniors who fail to engage in regular physical exercise and those who consume an unhealthy diet will be more at risk for needing long-term care as they age. The development of illness plays a large part in whether or not an elderly person will require long-term care.
Seniors who have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, have a 30 percent increase in the risk for developing the condition, according to medical experts from Harvard Medical School. Still, genetics plays a minor role in whether or not a senior will develop dementia.
Age, however, is a bigger factor when it comes to developing Alzheimer’s disease. A sixty-year-old, for instance, has less of a chance of developing dementia than a person in his seventies. The latter has a five percent chance of being diagnosed, while the former only two percent.
A person who has been diagnosed with dementia is advised to arrange for long-term care as soon as possible. Dementia is a progressive brain condition, meaning symptoms will continue to worsen as the disease progresses. Dementia is irreversible, and currently, a cure has not been developed.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include issues with memory, reasoning, and judgement. As the disease progresses, the dementia patient will no longer be able to independently perform daily routines, necessitating long-term care, whether it is at home or in a memory care facility.
People who suffer from other forms of cognitive impairment are also encouraged to seek long-term care as soon as is feasible. Examples of cognitive disorders include Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia are additional forms of cognitive impairment.
Living with a cognitive impairment puts the senior’s safety at risk. In order to maximize well-being and personal safety, long-term care becomes essential. Depending on how far the cognitive impairment has progressed, the senior will require supervision and assistance with everyday tasks.
Increased Need for Medical Care
The increased need for medical care should prompt the aging senior to seek long-term care. Professional long-term caregivers provide medication reminders to seniors who require help taking prescription drugs. Medication noncompliance, such as taking the wrong dosage, could be life threatening.
If the senior uses medical equipment, like an oxygen tank, or requires weekly dialysis treatments, long-term care will be important. Especially after a surgery or an injury, the senior will benefit from rehabilitative services provided in long-term care facilities or by providers.
Depression or Isolation
The emotional condition of a senior is indicative of whether or not he needs long-term care. Seniors who suffer from depression and experience drastic changes in eating and sleeping habits will find help in long-term care arrangements. Isolated seniors, too, will benefit from the social interaction found in long-term care.
Long-term care assistance should also be considered for seniors who are no longer able to manage the household. Missing utility bill payments or neglecting the condition of the interior and exterior parts of the home are clear signs that long-term care services are necessary.
Some older people receive care from family caregivers. However, when care demands are high, caregiver burnout can ensue. Exhaustion can result in errors in care, such as mixed medications and missed doctor’s appointments. It is time for long-term care when caregiver fatigue arises.
Fortunately, seniors are able to receive long-term care in the comfort and familiarity of home. Reputable elder care services, such as those provided by Assisting Hands Home Care, give seniors the opportunity to receive the extra help they need to continue to live a high quality of life.
Our home care agency is staffed with a team of dedicated professional caregivers who are experienced in delivering dependable senior care. Our caregivers assist with a range of daily activities, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, and grocery shopping.
Assisting Hands Home Care services are flexible and designed to meet the changing needs of seniors in our care. We offer non-medical respite care, after surgery care, overnight care, live-in care, hospice care and 24-hour care. Dementia care and companion care are an integral part of our senior care services.
Families with seniors living in Fort Worth, Texas, are encouraged to consult Assisting Hands Home Care for the most compassionate long-term care services. Upon an initial assessment of care needs, we will customize a fitting care plan. Call us today to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.