How to Know if it’s Time for In-Home Senior Care

2/17/2016

nurse caring for  senior woman

Wink Martini checking in! How was your Valentine’s Day? I took my lovely wife to a nice restaurant where, you guessed it, we enjoyed a few martinis and a delicious meal. But enough about me, how have your folks been? We were looking through some old photos with my mom the other day and came across this picture of a lift chair we bought her to help with her arthritis. That made me think about the first time I realized that maybe she and pops need help around the house. Mom slipped and almost fell in a shower that day, which scared me and prompted to do something about it.

I would like to take some time to go over a few tell-tale signs that it may be time for you to find an in-home senior caregiver for your loved one.

Noticeable Weight Loss

If you think kids are picky about what they eat, you obviously haven’t had to cook for your aging parents yet. Mine at least are very particular and very strong-willed too. In the past, your folks were probably able to put food on the table on their own, whether by cooking at home, going out or ordering takeout. However, when people retire, constantly eating out may become a financial strain. Cooking at home, on the other hand, may become an even bigger chore that involves grocery shopping before and a massive cleanup afterwards. For someone who doesn’t drive anymore or who has pain in their hands, cooking may not be possible anymore.

So what do they end up eating? Probably microwaved dinners or whatever goes well with tea or coffee. If you notice that your loved one has lost some weight, be sure to inquire about their diet. If they are unable to maintain a healthy diet on their own, it’s time to enlist help from a trained Maryland senior caregiver.

Troubles With Personal Care

It can be sad to see a usually dapper grandpa with untidy hair or in a shirt that’s missing buttons. It’s probably frustrating for him too not being able to take good care of himself as he used to. If you notice that your loved one may have been skipping on some personal hygiene, ask them what’s going on. Maybe lowering into a bathtub has become painful, or doing laundry and ironing is now an even bigger chore. These personal care issues can often be solved with a few bathroom modifications and assistance of a senior caregiver.

Confusion and Forgetfulness

Does your loved one keep getting confused when you ask them questions? Do they forget to take their medications? These are signs of memory impairment, which could be related to old age or to a serious disease like Alzheimer’s. It’s a good idea to have your loved one evaluated by a doctor at the first signs of confusion and forgetfulness. If it turns out to be Alzheimer’s or Dementia, a specialized caregiver can help your loved one cope with this diagnosis and maintain the highest quality of life possible.

If it’s just forgetfulness common in old age, getting a senior concierge service may be a good idea for now. This way your loved one can get daily reminders about medications and other important daily activities, as well as have someone to help with bill pay, grocery shopping, transportation and many other chores of everyday life.

Isolation

Isolation is probably one of the most difficult signs to spot. Unless you spend a lot of time with your loved one, you may not notice that they have stopped going to social functions, don’t have friends over anymore and are lonely. Of course, they will keep saying that everything is OK if you ask. Try talking to other members of the family, checking on how often they see or talk to grandma. If no one has checked in with her in a while, it may be a good idea to hire a caregiver who can do this regularly.

Keep in mind that a caregiver’s job is not only cooking food, cleaning or helping with personal care. A big part of what caregivers do is offering companionship. This is especially important for seniors who have lost spouses, friends and live mostly alone.

Have you recognized any of these signs in your loved one? If so, it may be the time to make sure they have help in the areas of their life where they need it most.

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