Most people rarely think about aging and planning for homecare. We often assume that our elderly parents will remain strong and independent, but this is not the case. Seeking homecare services on time is advisable. The longer your loved one goes without homecare, the more their health is likely to deteriorate. One way to prepare for your parent's home care is by being aware of the signs and symptoms that can help you know that your loved one needs home care. Below are some of the typical signs to look out for:
Poor Housekeeping and a Cluttered Home
One sure sign that your elderly parent may need help is a home that is always dirty and cluttered. You might notice that you find the sink full of dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, accumulations of garbage, and poor overall home maintenance every time you visit your parent. Piles of dirty clothes, stacks of newspapers, and dirty dishes are an indication that your parent is struggling to maintain daily responsibilities.
The fact that the lawn has fallen from its neat appearance might indicate that the senior can no longer accomplish home maintenance tasks alone and needs help. Another sign that may indicate a senior needs help includes overgrown grass. If you notice faulty fire detectors, broken lights, and other safety issues that have not been addressed on time, you may need to seek home care services for your elderly parent.
Deteriorating Personal Hygiene
May be your parent has always been meticulous about their appearance, and you suddenly notice a deterioration in their grooming habits. You should not ignore this sign because it's a clear indication that a senior needs help. Poor personal hygiene signs include dirty clothes, untidy hair, unbrushed teeth, dirty hands or nails, and bad odor. These are signs that your senior can no longer uphold personal care without assistance. Other common signs of poor personal hygiene include piles of laundry and soiled clothes. Your senior might be having physical and psychological issues associated with old age, making it challenging to maintain personal hygiene.
You love your elderly parent despite their appearance. However, there comes a point when you have to worry about your parent, especially when they neglect themselves and stop caring about their appearance. Poor personal hygiene, including skipping baths, could put a senior at risk of specific health issues like skin rashes. The topic of personal hygiene is sensitive. You should be sensitive when bringing up the topic and recommending a caregiver to ensure that your senior does not feel embarrassed. A caregiver will do everything, including helping your parent take a bath to ensure that they are always clean and refreshed.
For most people, driving is the epitome of independence, and when your parent is no longer able to drive, it is a sign that they need home care services. Some of the signs that indicate a senior is having a hard time driving include frequent traffic tickets and dents on the vehicle. You may take a drive with your parent and observe how they operate the vehicle. Homecare personnel will help your parent drive around, help them use ride-share apps like Uber, or call a taxi. It would be risky to allow your elderly parent to continue driving when it is evident that they can no longer drive safely.
Excessive Weight Gain or Weight Loss
A change in your loved one's appearance, including excessive weight gain or weight loss, might be a red flag. If you notice that your parent has lost weight, it could be a sign that they aren't feeding well. The senior could be having challenges preparing food and might be struggling with other issues like depression. You should show up during meal times to see if your parent can cook. Also, observe your parent's feeding habits. Check the fridge for signs of spoiling food.
You should also check the pantry and refrigerator to find out whether it has enough stock. Your elderly parent might not eat much; however, if you notice an empty fridge, it might be a sign that your senior doesn't make frequent trips to the grocery store, probably because they struggle to drive. An empty refrigerator could also portray that your senior's memory loss is affecting their decision-making abilities. A home caregiver can run errands for your senior, including grocery shopping, and ensure that your parent always has something healthy to eat.
As old age takes its toll on your parent, they experience some unique challenges. Meal preparation might be a challenge, especially if the senior's health is also failing. Homecare providers tailor their services to suit the individual needs of your senior. They keep updating their services as new development occurs.
Confusion and Memory Problems
If you notice constant confusion and memory loss in your elderly parent, it could be a sign that they have dementia. It could also mean that your senior has an underlying medical condition. Seniors struggling with confusion and memory loss have many instances of mismanagement of finances, forgetting routine tasks, and getting lost. Look out for all signs of forgetfulness, including missing essential appointments, failure to keep up with mail and bills, and forgetting to visit the doctor. All these are factors that indicate that your elderly parent requires some extra help at home.
A common sign of memory issues in seniors is unpaid bills. It would be embarrassing to have utilities turned off at your parent's house for lack of payment. Your parent could be in a bad situation if they fail to pay their bills. It would be quite inconvenient to have the power shut off, especially in the summertime. If your parent can afford to pay the utility bills, but they fail to do so, they could be experiencing a memory lapse, and they need help. Having a caregiver step in to remind them to pay the bills will help prevent embarrassing situations and keep your parent out of danger.
Frequent Falls and Accidents
If you notice that your senior has been having frequent falls and accidents recently, it is a sign that something is wrong. In people above the age of 65 years, falls are the leading cause of disability. A senior could fall because of several reasons, including cognitive problems, joints and muscle weakness, and medication mismanagement. A senior might also fall due to failing vision or due to deterioration of an existing medical condition. Your parent might end up facing a more severe problem if they do not have a home caregiver to assist them.
If your elderly parent has a hard time getting up from being seated, it's time to seek home care services. Getting home care services for your parent should be a priority when their safety is at risk. Ensure that you check for all hazards that could lead to falls, including clutter and unstable stairs. If you remove some of the hazards, you can decrease the senior's risk of falling. However, eliminating the hazards is not a permanent solution. You need a home caregiver who will look after your parent whenever you are not around. Once there has been a fall, the chances are that another fall will occur.
Social Isolation and Loneliness
Most senior adults struggle with social isolation and loneliness. Loneliness could have a significant impact on your parent's physical and emotional well-being. Seniors who struggle with depression experience loneliness due to their inability to get out of the house and interact with people. It is often challenging for a senior when they no longer have friends with whom to spend quality time. Seniors may have it worse if they can no longer drive. An in-home caregiver will provide a senior with much-needed companionship and even take them out to interact with other seniors.
Difficulty Managing Medication and Following Doctor's Orders
If your senior has underlying medical conditions, neglecting or mismanaging the prescribed medication could have some adverse effects on them. Inspect your parent's medication to see if they have organized them correctly. You should also check whether your senior has expired medication. Usually, physician offices print aftercare summaries that outline the instructions to follow during home treatment. If a failure fails to adhere to these instructions, it could harm them. A home caregiver will come in handy to help your parent manage their medications if they have a hard time doing so.
If you realize that your senior has been missing doctor appointments, it could mean several things. It could be a sign that the senior has organizational and memory issues. It could mean that the senior has forgotten how to drive to the doctor's office, and it could also mean that they are afraid to drive.
Mobility issues are common in aging persons. Mobility issues do not just involve struggling to walk or the inability to walk. Mobility issues could also mean that the senior has a hard time dressing in the morning, transferring from the bed, bathing, or going to and from the toilet. Seniors experiencing mobility issues are at a higher risk of falling or being involved in accidents.
Some of the factors that could lead to mobility issues include poor eyesight, body weakness, medications, imbalance, vitamin D deficiency, and household hazards. All the outlined factors could increase a senior's risk of falling. Falls are hazardous and could result in brain injuries and hip fractures. In addition to ensuring that your senior's home is free from hazards, you should acquire the equipment needed to help the senior maintain balance and seek home care services.
Major Health Concerns
If your elderly parent suffers from a chronic illness, it could be a sign that you need to seek reliable home care services for them. Chronic diseases, especially those requiring regular trips to the hospital, could make it hard for your senior to cope. For instance, if an aging parent has to visit the hospital regularly to undergo dialysis, it would be hard to manage without a home caregiver. Ailing seniors could greatly benefit from the assistant of a relative or a home caregiver. You might not always be there for your parent, especially if you have a full-time job, and this is why you need a caregiver.
You need to seek home care services for your elderly parent if they have just undergone major surgery and are in the course of recovery. After surgery, patients are often vulnerable and prone to developing an infection. Patients who have undergone surgery are usually at a higher risk of hospital readmission. A home caregiver will assist your loved one with personal hygiene, housekeeping, medication reminders, and meal preparation to reduce the risk of readmission to the hospital.
If you notice any broken appliances around the house, you should question your senior's ability to handle home maintenance. Broken appliances could cause immense inconvenience to your parent and affect their health negatively. For instance, a broken appliance could lead to spoilt food, which could lead to food poisoning. If any of the house appliances have malfunctioned without repair, it is a sign that the senior needs support.
You might notice that your parent prepares the same meal every time and the meal lacks the essential nutrients. This could signify that your senior can't prepare meals, and getting groceries could also be a struggle. Lack of proper nutrition could harm your senior's mental, physical, and emotional consequences. A home caregiver can help the senior create a healthy meal plan and make the right meal selection. A caregiver will also assist the senior in buying groceries and prepare healthy meals.
Find a Home Care Near Me
Once you decide that you need home care services for your loved one, you have to determine the level of care they need. Determine whether your parent requires 24/7 assistance or only a few hours of assistance. Think of the services that your loved one requires. Does your parent require help with housekeeping, grooming, running errands, or cooking? You should consider all these factors before you finally decide on a caregiver. You should research your options and identify a reliable home care provider who will fulfill your loved one's needs. If you seek reliable home care services in Los Angeles, contact Mom's Home Care at 323-244-4789 today. Our caregivers are compassionate; they will ensure that your elderly parent is comfortable.