According to a recent AARP survey, most Americans aged 65+ want to remain in their current homes for as long as possible. Although that’s an admirable goal, most aging-in-place seniors eventually require at least some assistance to maintain their independence. As a concerned family member, knowing when to have “the talk” about home care with an aging loved one is never easy. Being able to recognize these five telltale signs will help ensure it’s the right time for your family.
Functional Limitation Warning Signs
Seniors that struggle with functional limitations often present with one or more of these signs:
Losing or gaining too much weight, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs your loved one needs assistance. Cognitive red flags like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could indicate the onset of dementia.
If poor mobility is affecting your loved one’s quality of life, volunteer to assist them around the house by preparing meals, doing laundry, helping them bathe, etc. If you suspect that your senior has cognitive impairment, schedule a doctor’s appointment so they can be evaluated further.
Fall-related injuries send millions of older adults to hospital emergency departments each year. Vision changes, poorly lit hallways, and slippery bathroom surfaces are all fall hazards for aging-in-place seniors.
If your loved one has fallen several times recently, here’s how to help:
- Create well-lit, clutter-free pathways throughout the home.
- Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom and on both sides of the stairs.
- Take them to the eye doctor.
- Encourage them to exercise regularly, as that will improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Work with an occupational therapist to create a safer home environment.
Not socializing enough
Issue like depression, anxiety, and dementia keep many seniors from socializing as they should. On the other hand, older adults that stay socially engaged tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who feel lonely and isolated.
Introduce your loved one to activities they might enjoy at the local senior center. Teach them how to use the latest technologies, like video chats, online communities, and social media to stay connected with old friends – or make new ones. Better yet, let them know how much they mean to you with an old-fashioned phone call!
If your senior has gotten several tickets or caused multiple accidents, it’s probably best to have “the talk” about driving safety. Suspicious dents and scrapes on their vehicle could also be a sign that it’s time to turn over the car keys for good. Before respectfully discussing the subject with them research suitable transportation alternatives.
Poor medication compliance also sends scores of seniors to hospital emergency departments each year. Potential issues that can interfere with medication compliance include a lack of transportation, inadequate financial resources, or confusion resulting from dementia. If your loved one is not taking their medications as prescribed – or getting them refilled in a timely fashion – ask how you can help.
How to Find the Best Professional Caregiver
If you are unable to give your loved one the time and attention they deserve, finding them a suitable professional caregiver then becomes a priority.
Choosing a reputable home care provider is possible by taking these steps:
- Seek referrals from trusted sources.
- Determine what services they provide (dementia care, respite care, 24-hour care, etc.).
- Visit each provider’s website and read testimonials from clients and employees.
- Research the agency’s awards and accreditations.
- Find out how much it costs.
- Meet with a supervisor to discuss your concerns.
- Conduct a screening interview with each potential caregiver.
Flexible Home Care Solutions for Seniors in Naples, FL
When your aging loved one’s care weighs in balance, finding the right home care provider can be nerve-wracking. Put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead® Senior Care. Conveniently available in Naples, Fort Myers, and Charlotte County, FL, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.