As our elderly loved ones reach their golden years, we tend to worry about them more and more. Are they safe at home? Are they able to enjoy the same activities they always did? Are they still able to take care of themselves? While the answers to these questions will vary according to each individual, there are some signs, and even life events that hint when it is time to get our loved ones some help.
The first step in determining when home care is necessary is to visit them often and pay attention to their reactions, pain signs, or difficulties managing self-care tasks.
Here are some additional life events that trigger the need for home care.
1. Life Triggers
As the saying goes, “our experiences shape who we are,” they also affect our mood, stress levels, and motivation to do things. So big life events like the death of a spouse, retirement, and moving out a house will have a big effect on your loved one.
For example, the death of a spouse will not only cause significant stress to your loved one, but they may lose the motivation to do their favorite activities and perform self-care tasks like eating healthy, exercising, bathing, etc.
While home care won’t bring back the spouse, a live-in caregiver or 24-hour home care services can ensure that their personal care needs are met. They can also combat feelings of loneliness as they aim to serve as companions for your loved one. Having a caregiver in the home comes with a variety of other benefits, but the primary is ensuring the health and safety of your loved one.
2. Medication Errors
If your elderly loved one struggles with dementia, or simply cannot remember which medications to take at which time, medication errors or forgetting to take a medication can be extremely dangerous, even resulting in a trip to the hospital.
As this is a big life event that triggers the needs for home care, senior care services include medication reminders to ensure your loved one takes the right medication at the right time. So if they forget or are not sure which prescription to take, a caregiver will be there to remind them.
3. Nutrition Changes
As adults age, so will their dietary needs and ability to cook. When visiting your senior loved one, you may notice they are no longer cooking or not getting the proper nutrition they need, this is a sign that home care is needed.
Non-medical home health care services include meal preparation that will take all dietary needs into account, including avoiding foods containing high fat, sodium, sugar, as well as those that trigger allergies. Meal preparation also includes grocery shopping, cooking and serving the meal, and cleaning up afterward. These services seek to cover all the nutrition changes in your loved one’s diet.
4. Balance, Transfer Changes with Possible Falls
As adults age, their ability to walk, exercise, and transfer steadily declines. Physical therapy and regular exercise can prolong this life event, but never prevent it entirely. If you notice that your loved one is struggling to walk or cannot maintain their balance, this is a life event that triggers the need for home care.
For individuals who are no longer able to walk or at risk of falling, a caregiver is needed to guide them through the home. Many home care recipients who struggle to walk include dementia patients as they wander through the house looking for something that does not exist. But with an in-home caregiver, they will clear away any tripping hazards and help guide them throughout the house to prevent falls. They can also help with getting into and out of bed and transferring as needed.
5. ADL Changes
ADLs, or activities of daily living, include a number of personal care tasks that are required for an individual to live independently.
Activities of daily living include each of the following:
- Personal hygiene
If your loved one is no longer to do 2 or more of the following by themselves, this is another sign that home care is needed. Non-medical home health care services can help with these personal care tasks to ensure your loved one stays health and comfortable, especially when you can’t be there to help them.
For Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s patients, a 24-hour home care or live-in care service may be necessary as it can be dangerous to leave them alone. These services include a caregiver present at all hours of the day to prevent any falls, help with eating, walking, dressing, bathing, etc.
Addressing the Need for Home Care
For families who are not sure when home care services are needed for their elderly loved one, this can be a tough decision, especially if yours doesn’t want it. But they must understand that a caregiver is not only there to provide assistance but to be their companion. They work to develop a relationship with your relative, combating any feelings of loneliness or depression they may have.
When working with our caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, they have been known to be excellent companions for their clients. From the moment they meet your loved one, they will work to form a personal bond with them, getting to know them through conversation and asking about their favorite activities.
While becoming their friend, our caregiver will also carry out the responsibilities included in the home care plan, providing assistance with cooking, transportation, meal preparation, personal care tasks, and more. We will also provide regular updates on their condition, reporting any declines in health or emergencies while they are in our care.
Get a Free Consultation
For more information or to set up a free consultation regarding our senior care, live-in care, or 24-hour home care services, call Assisting Hands Home Care at (630) 352-3656. We proudly serve Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, and the surrounding areas of DuPage County (See full list of Service Areas).