How we relate to our family members, both young and old, depends on many factors. Older family members deserve special attention because physical and mental changes are part of the natural aging process. If these changes are gradual and your older loved one is still able to perform the basic activities of daily living, his or her need for attention might be minimal. Your family will need to monitor your elderly loved one’s daily activities to determine when he or she should receive extra attention. Below are some of the warning signs your parent might need special attention, including professional in-home care.
1. Medical Conditions
This is the most obvious sign, and it often includes heart disease, cancer, or any serious condition that would require extensive doctor, clinic, or hospital visits. You might have to be involved in the decision-making process, especially if your loved one needs home care.
Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Oshkosh seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.
Have you noticed a change in your parent’s eating habits, food-purchasing habits, and how he or she keeps food in the home? A lack of good nutrition could be a sign your loved one needs in-home care. Your parent must have someone there to help with meal prep and monitor his or her nutrition intake to boost his or her quality of life and increase longevity.
Senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
See if you sense a lack of energy compared to the immediate past. Does your loved one seem tired all the time? If so, schedule an appointment with his or her doctor for an examination.
4. Memory Issues
Cognitive issues become more prevalent with age, and symptoms often manifest in how seniors do daily tasks and the basic conversations they have. Cognitive impairment and memory loss are typical reasons for poor judgment in older adults, and without proper guidance, poor choices could lead to severe consequences. However, having someone there to assist with the decision-making could make life easier for your parent.
Do you feel your family member isn’t handling his or her finances correctly? Sometimes seniors are very private about this issue, but it doesn’t hurt to ask questions if you feel there’s a problem.
6. Risk of Falling
If your family member has a tendency to fall or has difficulty with basic body movements, you should pay particularly close attention. Consider using in-home care services to make sure your parent is never alone, especially when you’re at work, on vacation, or unable to step in and provide constant care.
7. Basic Behavior & Personality
Any changes in your loved one’s behavior could be an indicator of a more serious health issue. For example, skipping occasional activities and family gatherings is nothing to worry about, because your parent may simply not be up to interacting with others on a particular day. However, if social withdrawal becomes common, your loved one could be experiencing depression and chronic stress, which are top factors associated with isolation. Maintaining healthy interactions with others is vital to your loved one’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and in-home care could provide the companionship he or she needs.
Take notice of your loved one’s overall appearance and be wary of any significant sudden changes. Failing to bathe each day and take care of their hygiene can put seniors at risk for infections. If you notice your loved one hasn’t bathed, brushed his or her teeth, combed his or her hair, or washed his or her clothing, this could be a warning sign of needing more assistance, including in-home care. Having someone help with grooming and other hygiene necessities could increase your loved one’s quality of life.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Oshkosh families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (920) 573-6295 today.