Senior Home Care: When to Bring in Help. There are a few red flags to watch out for. It can be hard to determine the next steps for your senior loved one’s care. Know when to bring in help.
Below, there are also some tips on how to start a dialog with them. It is essential that you and your loved on are on the same page when it comes to their care.
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What to Look for to Help you Determine if More Assistance is Needed.
- Changes in appearance- unkempt, wearing the same thing over and over, or not dressed to suit the weather
- Deterioration in home condition
- Housework/laundry not done, or are
- Bills stacking up/bouncing checks
- Spoiled food or lack of food in the kitchen
- Expired Medications
- Weight loss or gain in a short time
- Change in mobility, such as having increased difficulty getting in and out of a chair
- Mood swings or personality changes
- Forgetting to use their glasses or hearing aids
- Safety hazards such as leaving the stove on and unattended
All of these are signs that more help may be needed for your loved one. The next step will be to have a conversation with your loved one/. They may need help when it comes to maintaining independence.
A great approach is to make a list of “next steps”. By starting with less invasive action items they may be more agreeable. Such as a shuttle service to help them get to appointments or a medication organizer with timer to assist them in taking medications. It could also be something as simple as medical equipment such as a shower chair or grab bar for the shower. This can help to ease them into the idea of additional help.
Tips to Having an Open Conversation with your Loved One about their Future Care.
When it comes to introducing the idea of having senior home care, you may have a difficult time starting a conversation with your loved one. You could be met with resistance from them.
Below are some tips that should help to maintain an open and agreeable dialog. By including your loved one in the process it will ensure that they feel more accepting, as well as have more trusting in the idea. It will also open the table for more conversations in the future.
- Tip #1 – Pick a calm and quiet time to talk so that there will be less of a chance for interruption or distractions during your conversation.
- Tip #2 – Be empathetic to your loved ones feelings and make sure that they are feeling heard by you.
- Tip #3 – Allow your loved one to express what their concerns and fears are.
- Tip # 4 – Always attempt to come up with an action plan for the next step by the end of your conversation. An example would be to let your loved one know that based on the conversation you would like to start researching health care services in their area. You want to make sure to confirm with them that they are in agreement with the actions you would like to take.
- Tip #5 – Be sure to emphasize to your loved one that the reason you are taking these steps because you want to help them maintain their independence and make sure of their success long term.
Peace of Mind
It may also help to let them know that them having extra help also helps to ease your mind, knowing their needs are being met. Once you have had this conversation, it really builds a foundation for future communication about their care. And it lets everyone know that you are all on the same page.