Is your loved one ready for hiring a caregiver for in-home help?
Watch for These Four Signs:
Asking for help is difficult for people in general. When it involves an aging family member, it can be even harder. Here are four signs that it might be time to consider hiring a caregiver for in home help for your loved one to age comfortably and safely in place, especially now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s an older article, but it’s a good one: In 2014, PBS shared a story about aging family members who don’t want to move but who also refuse to accept in-home help. It centers around the story of Karen, whose 87-year-old mom, after months of asking her to accept help, only relented when a fall led her to the emergency room with a broken wrist.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario across the country. (The CDC reports that 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments each year from fall-related injuries.) We hope that this post will help you and your loved one identify the right time to find a qualified caregiver for in-home services. The goal is to connect with the right caregiver before the situation becomes too risky for you or your family.
How do I know it’s time for in-home elderly care?
We’re here as your ally as you navigate a path forward for your unique situation. When it comes to finding in-home care for our aging loved ones, no two situations are the same but there are some common signs to look for. Acting sooner versus later to connect with premium and personalized in-home care can help you avoid unnecessary or more serious complications. And, somewhat surprisingly, it can also save you money.
Mobility: For our aging loved ones, diminished mobility can result in complications like falls and bedsores which often require extensive and expensive therapy or medical care. Decreased mobility means that your loved one may spend more time in sedentary positions, like sitting or laying down, which can also result in decreased stimulation and quality of life. Balance is a large component of diminished mobility; older people may more easily lose their balance when attempting previously easy daily activities, such as walking, cooking, bathing, or doing light chores around the home.
Forgetfulness or Confusion: We’ve all been there: We forget to pick something up at the store, we forget to respond to an email, we misplace something that we just had in our hands, no matter how young or capable we are. But for our aging family members, forgetfulness or confusion can be a symptom of larger complications, like dementia. It can also be a risk when the things they forget to do are critical to security and well-being, like taking the proper medication, leaving the stove on, getting to a doctor’s appointment, or making legitimate payments for bills versus falling for scams that target the elderly. These lapses can lead to greater medical and financial consequences. Forgetfulness or confusion can be embarrassing, too, and many older people may try to hide or minimize the extent to which they’re struggling.
Diminished Senses: Whereas forgetfulness can be embarrassing, diminished senses — like hearing, sight, smell, and taste — can be a frustrating development for our aging loved ones. It can also be dangerous, as the elderly may lack clarity around things like fine-print medication instructions, mold on food, or a provider’s diagnosis or advice. If your family member is still driving, diminished senses can also present a critical and costly danger to themselves and others.
Mental Health: At 1+1 Cares, we, unfortunately, hear many stories from our clients about a lack of social interaction among their aging loved ones. If any of the above signs are present, your loved one may decide to skip church or cancel a weekly breakfast outing. As humans, we all share a need to interact with others, and when we miss these important opportunities for social connection, it can lead to depression and, in some cases, suicide or attempts at suicide. Remember this: Depression is a common problem in older adults, but it’s not a normal sign of aging. Watch closely for the signs (here’s a helpful list from the National Institute on Aging), especially if your family member has had to make a rapid transition from social activities and family gatherings to a more homebound or solitary lifestyle.
Another sign to keep in mind relates to the current state of our world. As the coronavirus pandemic upends life and work, you may find that previous routines for providing care — including work-based assistance, adult on-site daycare options, or help from friends and neighbors — is now hard to come by or impossible. This can cause undue mental and financial stress for you, too, as you try to juggle new priorities, like taking care of your own children whilst managing your career from a home office.
The Southwest CDC Globe-Times reports that its local in-home care companies are “flooded” with requests from people “desperate” for help to keep their loved ones healthy and engaged right now. At 1+1 Cares, we continue to deliver premier and personalized service, every day. We’re eager to hear from you and refer you to a qualified local caregiver today.
As more grandparents are separated from children and grandchildren amidst safer-at-home measures, seniors may be feeling especially disconnected. A recent study from Medicare Advantage reports that 6 in 10 grandparents wish they heard from grandchildren more often and nearly 20 percent report using video calls for the first time to communicate with family amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The right in-home caregiver can help your aging loved one navigate technology to make these important video calls to stay connected and engaged.
So, take some time and use the list above to make a mental or written checklist of the changes you’re seeing in your loved one. If you see any of the above signs, or others that concern you, now is a good time to have a conversation about the next steps. Talk with your family about how the right in-home caregiver can improve the safety and quality of life for your entire family, and please get in touch with us with any questions you have.
Guest Blog Contributor: 1+1 Cares
Please visit the 1+1 Cares website for more information about In-Home Care for your loved one.