The challenges presented to families with aging loved ones that require additional care is a conversation that we have every day at Blue Water Homecare. It is typical during holidays and family celebrations as it becomes evident that your parents or grandparents may need assistance at home. It is common for seniors to resist care, but here are some guidelines to follow when deciding if it is time to get assistance in the home.
1. Changes in Balance, Mobility, and Function
You may hear that your loved one has had falls. Physically you may see bruises on their arms, legs, or face. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in 4 seniors over 65 falls each year. 1 out of 5 falls results in a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. You may find that a loved one who is usually showered, dressed and ready for the day seems frail and ungroomed. This may be due to physical impairments or a fear of falling. A change in mobility can also cause depression and emotional withdrawal. It is important to have a senior visit with their primary care provider to evaluate these safety concerns.
2. Changes in their Home Environment
Commonly, we see piles of unopened bills, scorched pans, dirty bathrooms, piles of laundry, beeping smoke detectors and refrigerators filled with expired foods. This is concerning if your loved one is typically concerned with having a tidy home, for example. The senior may be experiencing physical decline and not have the energy to maintain the home environment. Or, possibly, they may have memory loss and not realize the conditions in which they are living. Scorched pans and beeping smoke detectors are particularly concerning as they may indicate a hazardous situation.
3. Weight Loss
Weight loss may be an indication of a medical condition, memory impairment, depression, or an inability to shop for and prepare meals. Making sure that your loved one sees a medical provider to address the weight loss is critically important.
4. Unexplained Dents in their Car
As we age our peripheral and night visions decline. Multiple scratches and dents on the car may indicate a person is unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Memory changes and dementia are concerns and should be evaluated by a physician. Additionally, the state Department of Motor Vehicles and local driver rehabilitation programs may be able to asses someone’s safety skills while driving.
Each of these warning signs may indicate a change in one’s physical or mental condition. Suggest to your loved one that you make an appointment with their primary care provider. In-home care providers may also be an option as their focus is to allow seniors to age safely in place. These care professionals will help seniors safely bathe, make meals, and remind them to take their medications. Also, a homecare agency will be able to partner with your family to be their “eyes and ears”. A quality homecare agency can notify families with changes in their loved one’s physical and mental conditions or concerns in the home daily. If you’re in need of an in-care home provider, contact Blue Water Healthcare today!