It’s not always easy to know—or to admit—that a loved one is unable to fully care for themselves anymore. The signs develop gradually, and aren’t always easy to pick up on if you see your loved one on a daily or weekly basis. Often it’s the son or daughter who has moved away and comes home for a visit who notices (what is to them) the “sudden decline” in mom or dad’s ability to perform the most basic of tasks.
If you suspect (but aren’t sure) that your loved one may need in-home care, there are a few signs you can look for to help you decide. The “Right at Home” website has an article listing ten signs that home care could benefit your loved one, and Responsive Home Health has a 3 page questionnaire to help you determine whether or not mom or dad is still just fine at home alone. The signs you’ll want to look for include:
- Inability to prepare own meals
- Frequent falls
- Inability to keep up with basic hygiene such as bathing and brushing teeth
- Sudden isolation
- And more…
Once you know for certain that your loved one needs in-home care you’ll have to face the sometimes daunting task of finding (and figuring out how to pay for) the right service. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal provides some excellent information on how to find the right kind and level of care for your loved one. For example: does your parent need just a little bit of help with cooking and housekeeping, or is more comprehensive care (such as daily help with bathing, grooming, mobility and medication) necessary? The level of care your loved one needs, as well as what financial resources you have available, will help narrow down your choice of agency or aide.
Always remember, you don’t have to go through any of this alone. There are a number of dedicated professionals who can help you along the way—including our office. Don’t hesitate to seek out help from these professionals. Remember, all of us are here to help.