When It's Time to Find a Caregiver: Signs That Your Senior Loved One Needs Help

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 5, 2016 1:20:10 PM / by Bart Delsing



And how a South Florida home health aide can be the ideal solution.

One of the hardest things for an adult child is facing the eventuality that your parent is losing the ability to take care of themselves. And while it is difficult for you, coming to terms with the fact that they may be losing some of their independence is even more upsetting to your loved one. But the fact is, when a senior begins to show signs that they need help, it’s crucial that you react promptly to ensure that he or she remains safe and healthy in their home. Here’s what to look for:

Forgetting meds

One of the first signs that your senior family member may need help is when he or she begins to be forgetful with their medications. Although forgetfulness is a common part of growing old, it can become dangerous for those who are afflicted with medical conditions that require a regimen of prescriptions in order to stay healthy.

Mobility issues

If you find that your senior family member is struggling with getting up and down, in and out of their bed, and generally having an issue getting around the house on their own, falling becomes a big concern. Living alone makes mobility challenges even more arduous, and it’s a definite sign that a caregiver is needed.

Hygiene concerns

When a loved one suddenly shows signs that they are not paying attention to hygiene and grooming like they used to, it’s likely because they are having trouble keeping up with the daily routine or they are just becoming forgetful. If you notice they aren’t bathing, or they appear to be unkempt, it’s time to step in and address the situation. Poor hygiene, although it may not seem like a health-related issue, could be a sign of a medical condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s, and therefore needs to be addressed right away.

Decline in housekeeping

Another important sign not to ignore is a decline in the cleanliness of your loved one’s home. Just like hygiene, it’s common for elderly folks to struggle with routine tasks like dusting, washing floors, doing laundry, and generally just keeping things clean and uncluttered. And in addition to the fact that it’s not pleasant to live in an unkempt home, it can also be a health hazard and increase the risk of slips and falls.

Weight loss

Many seniors who live alone begin to lose interest in cooking or preparing meals and even eating itself. It could be that these tasks are just so difficult for them, or they are suffering from loneliness or feeling isolated. There are some medical conditions and medications that may also decrease their appetite. But whatever the cause, losing too much weight is dangerous for your loved one and can increase their risk of falling or injuring themselves, not to mention make them more frail, weak, and ill.

Losing interest in social activities or hobbies

It’s sad when a family member who was once active and involved in numerous activities suddenly begins to lose interest and retreat to living a sedentary lifestyle. If you’ve noticed that your senior isn’t tending to their garden that they previously spent many hours working in, or that instead of attending their book club or weekly card game they are staying home, it could be they are feeling depressed or that they are struggling with an unknown medical condition.

Financial issues

A very common issue among the elderly is trouble keeping up with their bills or spending money frivolously. And with the threat of unscrupulous individuals who prey on seniors, it’s critical that you pay close attention to what’s happening in your loved one’s bank account. Seniors often forget to pay their monthly bills or make purchases, buy subscriptions, or just order products that they don’t need. These activities can do major damage and cause serious financial strife – so the moment you notice anything like this happening, it’s important to step in.

All of these signs, while concerning, can be remedied by enlisting the services of a home health aide. Whether it’s during the day to assist with housekeeping, cooking, transportation to doctor’s appointments, shopping, social activities, and other routine tasks, or overnight, to ensure your senior is safe throughout the night, you can choose the level of care that works best. Another option, companion care, provides much-needed companionship to your family member while ensuring that they are taking their medications, eating, bathing, and generally watching over them.

If your loved one is showing any of these signs, we are here to help you. As a leading provider of home health aides in South Florida, we are dedicated to providing seniors with compassionate, professional caregivers who are highly-skilled and experienced. Get in touch with us today to find out about our home healthcare services in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Martin Counties.

Topics: Main Blog

Written by Bart Delsing

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