As individuals age, many of the things they used to do with ease sometimes become much more difficult to do. Acknowledging the need for help and then accepting assistance is not easy for individuals as they get older. Often, the decision and responsibility falls on one or more family members to recognize the signs that your loved one might need support and aide in completing the activities of daily living. Many of these include simple tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking.
So, how do you know if it is time for in-home care for your loved one? There are some obvious signs that could signal a red flag that are listed below. One may not be enough, but when these come in combination you should seriously look to have a caregiver aide in the home.
Reduction in Physical Abilities and/or Mental Status
- Difficulty keeping track of time / forgetting appointments
- Sleeping for most of the day / not waking properly
- Poor diet or weight loss
- Rapid weight gain
- Loss of interest in hobbies, activities or in socializing
- Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
- Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
- Difficulty getting up from a seated position
- Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
- Unexplained bruising or injuries from falls or hitting furniture
- Forgetfulness, including forgetting to take medications or taking incorrect dosages
- Consistent use of poor judgment (e.g. falling for scams or sales pitches, giving away money)
Deterioration in Personal Hygiene
- Unpleasant body odor due to infrequent showering or bathing
- A strong smell of urine in the house or on clothing
- Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care (e.g. unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, lack of oral care, wearing dirty or stained clothing)
Neglecting Household Responsibilities and Upkeep
- Inability to independently complete Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Little or no fresh, healthy food in the fridge
- Unkept, uncleaned house and/or extreme clutter
- Unwashed laundry piling up
- Stains or wet spots on furniture or carpet
- Spoiled or outdated food that does not get thrown away
- Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox
- Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors
- Utilities being turned off due to missed payments
Hiring a Caregiver or Caregiving Service
If many of these indicators are present, it does not mean you have to place mom or dad into an assisted living or a nursing home facility. These are often very expensive and may not be the right choice. However, these red flags do indicate that some form of daily supportive care is needed. You may have to consider hiring a private duty care agency, or as a much more affordable alternative, hire your own caregiver using a service such as Well Beyond Care.
About Well Beyond Care
Well Beyond Care is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, WellBeyondCare.com. The Company’s platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. Their solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.