“How do I know if my loved one needs a caregiver?” A question many of us ask will ourselves at some point in our lives.
It’s an all-too common scenario:
“Mom once kept her home tidy and in place, but lately everything seems so scattered and unorganized.”
“Dad can’t remember the last place he put his heart medication and seems to have trouble recalling important dates and information.”
For seniors one of the most significant things that defines who they are, is their independence. It’s the one thing – besides their love of family and friends – they try to hold on to for as long as possible.
This might look like anything from being home alone to driving back and forth by themselves to appointments and doctor’s visits.
It’s difficult for elderly loved ones to admit that they need help, as it could mean losing the freedom that they’ve come to rely on for so long.
But it’s a very real and unavoidable part of life. And as a friend or family member, it’s important to be able to identify the signs that your loved one needs help.
Here are a few tips Freedom Home Care found that may be beneficial in determining whether or not your loved one needs a caregiver.
Change in Habits or Appearance
Missing meetings, appointments or holiday gatherings
Unexplained injuries or repeated falls
Difficulty getting up from a seated position
Balance and mobility issues
Confusion performing task that were once done alone
Infrequent showering or bathing
Food kept long after expiration
Unpleasant body odor
Urine smell on the sheets or bed
Hoarding or excess clutter
Physical or Mental Changes
Noticeable increase or decrease in weight
Outbursts or irritability
Signs of depression or isolation
No longer able to cope with everyday stress
How to begin the conversation
You might be apprehensive about bringing your concerns to your loved one attention because you’re not sure how they will react. They might shrug it off, become resistant or even deny that a problem exists.
But in the best interest of you and your family, it is a topic that should be addressed.
Some experts recommend starting the conversation early – before problems become noticeable. This makes planning easier, while allowing your senior to maintain as much of their independence as possible.
Remind your loved one that “help” isn’t always equate to being placed in a nursing home. It may just mean something as simple as needing in home care or personalized elder care.
Let them know that you want to help them live a full, independent life.
Approaching to conversation with love and care will create a more open, honest and productive meaningful.