As your loved ones grow older, their mental health and physical ability will gradually weaken as their bodies start to change due to the effects of ageing. The exact time that this happens can vary from person to person, but it’s generally something that could happen to anyone especially if they have started to develop symptoms of dementia or other conditions that could accelerate the ageing process.
That’s why it’s important to check up on your loved ones especially if they’ve had a history of poor health, have experienced issues in the past regarding their physical ability or generally don’t have anyone to look after them. So in this article, we’re going to discuss a couple of signs to look out for that could tell you that your loved ones are in need of home care support or more attention to help them stay healthy and connected to the rest of the world.
- You’ve noticed that their home is in disarray
It’s a good idea to check up on your loved ones on a regular basis to ensure that they’re keeping up with current affairs and are able to sort out any concerns or issues they have. When you visit their home, it’s important to look out for as many signs as possible that could indicate that they’re having trouble keeping their home in order. Here are a few signs related to a house visit that you should keep an eye on.
- Have you noticed any mail stacking up, unopened or ignored?
- Are you noticing any funny smells coming from anywhere in the home?
- Do you find that your loved one sleeps on the couch more than their bed which is upstairs?
- Are both the fridge and pantry stocked up on food or is it lacking?
- Have you noticed any kind of hobbies or interests that they could be getting involved in?
- Do they have a way to communicate with others?
- Are you noticing any mess in the house such as clothes laying around?
- Are all of their appliances repaired and working?
These are just a couple of examples of things to look out for when you next visit your loved ones. Each of them could carry a different issue and, in some cases, may be a cause for concern.
For example, if mail is stacking up and being left alone, then it’s important to help them read through the letters and deal with any concerns that they may have. For instance, if it’s an unpaid bill then they could start to receive threatening phone calls from utility services that will hurt their mental state and could cause a lot of undue stress. This is where having a home carer is important because they’ll be able to sort out any outstanding issues for your loved one. However, there are also times when their financial situation could be caused by poor habits, potentially such as gambling, and it’s a good idea to help keep the issue under control.
Another potential thing to look out for is the food and supplies in their home. If you find that their pantry is empty and that the fridge is lacking, then it could be because your loved one is unable to go outside or has difficulty doing so. It may be due to social isolation which has caused them to be afraid of going outside, or it could be their mobility issues that are preventing them from heading out on their own. It could also be a heavy reliance on fast food and take outs due to stress or depression, and these are all important concerns that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Again, a home carer can help in this case by either helping your loved one do the shopping or even take them outside to walk the markets and stores for food.
In short, general home care and maintenance should be a big sign if your loved ones need home care support or not. If the home is in disarray and desperately needs a clean or restocking, then it’s a good idea to consider hiring a home carer or at least paying more regular visits so that you can help them live a more comfortable life.
- They find it difficult to socialise due to their position or conditions
Most of us that grew up in the past few decades will know just how easy it is to stay in touch with loved ones and friends all over the world thanks to the internet, phone calls and messaging. However, as our senior loved ones grew up in much earlier generations, they likely don’t have the same amount of exposure to technology and, as a result, can’t take advantage of all the advances like smartphones, computers and tablets to stay in touch. This means that they could end up socially isolating themselves because they don’t have anyone to communicate with or they rarely get to speak to others. In fact, many elderly seniors consider TV and radio to be their main form of companionship.
This is where encouraging your loved ones to use technology can be helpful to ensure they stay connected with friends and family members, but it can still be challenging if you’re tasked with overseeing the learning process. This is where a home care expert can help not only teach your loved ones to use technology, but also provide social comfort so that they don’t feel isolated. Learning to use technology can be a huge benefit even if it can be quite difficult to grasp, but having a trained professional carer at their side will make it that much easier for your loved ones to stay in touch with the rest of the world.
A carer can also help to introduce your loved ones to the outside world. Whether it’s taking them to visit friends and family members or helping them get to a club or group meeting, hiring a carer is a fantastic way to ensure that they aren’t socially alienating themselves and have company at all times.
- You’re worried about the changes (or lack of changes) in their appearance
The appearance of your loved ones can be a huge clue to how they’re doing in their everyday life. For instance, if you feel that your loved ones have gained or lost an excessive amount of weight in a short time, then it could be because they’re eating or cooking too much, that they’re not eating enough or that they’re falling into poor eating habits. If you feel that their weight has changed drastically and not for a good reason, then it’s best to ask them about their eating habits to see how you can help. This is much easier to handle with a carer at their side who can monitor what they’re eating, ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need and also help prevent them from falling into poor eating habits.
Other appearance clues can include how their hair looks, the clothes they’re wearing and also their general facial expression. Things like their clothing and physical appearance can usually come down to if they’re maintaining their hygiene care or if they’re able to wash their clothes comfortably without stressing their bodies. This is also where a carer can come in handy. Having someone who is able to help your loved one improve their appearance by doing their hair, helping to trim it if needed and also helping to pick out their clothes can greatly improve their appearance. A helping hand to wash the clothes can also ensure that they’re taking care of their appearance and hygiene.
Improving their appearance has more advantages than just looking better. It can help improve their self-esteem, their confidence and also make them more likely to head outside and take part in social situations. It’s a great way to help them stop alienating themselves from the rest of society, and being more concerned about their physical appearance (in terms of weight) can also help them achieve a healthier body.
- You’ve noticed that your loved one is moving around less and has mobility issues
There are many different signs that will tell you that your loved one is in need of mobility assistance. It could be that they’re falling more often and potentially even being taken to hospital due to a fall, it could be that they’ve moved to a downstairs bedroom because they’re unable to climb the stairs on a regular basis, or it could be that they’re travelling to visit you less because they’re unable to walk as far without getting tired.
These are very common issues to develop over time, but there are many solutions to help remedy this. One is to ensure that there are supports installed around the home such as handles around areas like the toilet and wherever steps are involved. A rather expensive solution for traversing stairs would be to rely on a lift, but this needs to be installed professionally. For areas such as the bathroom, it’s important to consider switching current bathtubs and showers for more mobility-friendly options, such as a sit-down bath or a seating area in the shower. Lastly, for outdoor mobility, investing in a mobility solution can be a great way to encourage your loved ones to go outside more.
While these solutions are a great way to solve mobility problems, another all-in-one solution is to actually hire a home carer. This is because a home carer can solve many of the issues related to mobility, such as helping your loved ones around the home, helping them outside to meet with friends and family members, or even assisting them with mobility-related tasks such as cleaning, gardening and shopping. Most importantly, having another person around the home helps them ensure that your loved ones do not injure themselves should they fall over, slip in the bathroom or trip on something in their house.
In short, it’s having a home carer take care of your loved ones will provide plenty of security and safety when it comes to mobility. They’ll help ensure that mobility solutions for your loved ones are effective, and they’ll also relieve them of much of the stress that comes with coping with less mobility as they age.
- Accidents or reports away from home
Accidents and reports can be very sudden, but if your loved ones are involved then it’s usually a wake-up call that something needs to be done in order to take better care of them. For example, if you’ve recently received a phone call that a loved one is in the hospital because they slipped at home or because they were in a car crash, then it can be difficult to trust them being on their own. Perhaps it’s the slowly declining motor skills or perhaps even slower reflexes that make it difficult for them to drive a vehicle. Whatever the case may be, any accidents and reports involving your senior loved ones should be taken very seriously.
However, you can’t always be expected to be there for them especially if you have your own family and career to worry about. While frequent visits are perfectly fine, you should consider hiring a home carer to look after them. If you get to know the carer, learn about their personality and slowly build up trust, then they’ll effectively be an honorary member of the family that will get to know your loved one and look after them. This will drastically reduce the possibility of a negative report such as a car accident or a fall at home, and it will give you peace of mind knowing that someone will always be looking out for your loved one.
Hopefully, this article has given you some good advice on when you should consider hiring a home carer for your loved ones to ensure their safety and wellbeing.