Sometimes it’s not easy to be sure that it’s time for a loved one to begin receiving senior home care. Raising the subject may not be something you’ve been looking forward to; you want to be certain they need home care before talking with them about it. We understand that bringing in a home care provider is a sensitive topic for seniors and that you want to be sure your timing is spot on before approaching your loved one to have “the talk.” To help you decide if now is the time to bring a caregiver aboard, consider these seven signs:

Declining personal hygiene

Body odor is often a sign that a senior is not tending to their personal hygiene like they once did, as are wearing soiled clothes and piles of laundry accumulating. Declining hygiene can be caused by physical or memory issues that are making it challenging for them to stay clean.

Problems driving

This can be a touchy subject since driving has been the personification of independence for most people since they were teens. Signs that your loved one’s driving skills are diminishing are multiple fender-benders, dents on the vehicle, and repeated traffic tickets. If you’re unsure if they should continue driving, take a ride with them and personally observe their driving skills.

Noticeable weight change

A change in weight of 10% or more can indicate a problem. Your loved one may not be eating enough because of difficulty preparing meals or because of the onset of depression. Visit them during mealtime and observe their ability to cook. Also, look inside the refrigerator for spoiling food.


Confusion and significant memory problems are possible indicators of dementia. It can also mean mismanagement of medications or the presence of an underlying medical condition. Also, look for indicators of forgetting how to perform routine tasks, mishandling finances, or getting lost.

Mismanaging medications

Problems managing or neglecting to take their medications can significantly affect a senior’s physical and mental health. Check your loved one’s meds and see if they’re organized in a weekly pillbox or are expired. If they’re not following the directions the doctor gave them for their prescriptions, it may indicate a deeper cognitive problem.

Frequent falls

Falling frequently is a definite sign that there is a problem. Falling is the leading cause of disability for adults age 65 and above and can be caused by several factors. These include cognitive problems, physical weakness, or medication mismanagement.

Missed appointments

Missing appointments with their healthcare providers can indicate organizational or memory issues. It can also signify that a senior is afraid of driving or has forgotten how to get to an exact location.

Take action if you notice any of these signs with your loved one. Home care assistance for a senior should start as early as possible. The longer they go without the care they need, the worse their health is likely to become.

If your loved one lives in Naples, Fort Myers, or Charlotte County, and you believe it’s time they begin receiving home care, or even if you’re still unsure, contact Home Instead of Southwest Florida today and schedule a FREE consultation. Put our experience and expertise to work for your loved one and your family.