Senior Home Care Blog - Fort Smith, Arkansas

How to Determine If Your Elderly Parents Need a Caregiver

By Tatum Owenby


Senior Home Care Services in Northwest Arkansas

As a responsible adult, part of your responsibilities is to make sure that your parents are taken care of as they grow older. Periodically observing the state of your parents health will allow you to be proactive in providing assistance when the time comes. Whether it’s early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, or simply helping address the current needs of your elderly parents, being there to help when help is needed is the main objective. Determining the right time to provide in-home care for your parents requires careful observation on your part as well ask asking several questions of yourself:

    • Has their appearance become noticeably sloppier? Signs of poor hygiene are often the first indicators that your parents can benefit for a few hours of home care each day. The caregivers can make sure that your parents can bathe properly, and that they can dress and groom themselves appropriately.

    • Does it seem like they have lost weight? When their weight loss becomes more apparent, this may be a sign that they’re not eating right. They may not be eating the right nutritious food items. They may not be able to buy food at the market because they’re no longer fit to travel that far. Or they may even forget to eat sometimes. With the proper senior care, you can set your mind at ease with the assurance that your elderly parents are getting enough nutritious food at the right time.

    • Have you seen any signs of injuries? Many elderly people may sport bruises, and that’s often the result of falls that are common among the elderly. Others may even have recent burn marks which might indicate that they’ve suffered a mishap in the kitchen. With the right home health care, you can have home health aides helping your parents move from place to place. And you can also have them take care of the cooking chores.

    • Is there something wrong with the house and the surroundings? When you notice something wrong when you visit your parents at home, this may mean that there’s something wrong with your parents. A dirty living room may mean that they’ve become unable to clean the house as often as necessary. New carpet stains may mean that they’ve become prone to dropping things. Burn marks in pots and pans indicate that they’ve left food on the stove burning. And the smell of urine may be a sign of incontinence.

      A home caretaker can help your parents with their household chores. They can do some simple cleaning chores and make sure that everything in the kitchen is safe.

      You should also look for signs right outside their home. A yard that looks overly messy may mean that your parents may no longer have the energy to maintain the yard. New scratches and dents in their car may mean that they shouldn’t be driving anymore.

      A home caregiver can have people take care of the yard. And they can also drive your parents around so they’re safer and their automobile doesn’t get damaged.

    • Have their prescriptions gone unfilled? You have to check this for yourself. A Canadian study in 2014 found that older patients were more likely to follow doctor’s orders. People who were taking multiple medications were also more likely to fill prescriptions. So if your parents’ prescriptions are unfilled, something must be wrong. They may be unable to buy the medicine or they may keep forgetting to take the medicine.

      A caregiver can drive to the drugstore and get the right medicine. And they can also make sure that your parents take all their medications with the right dosages at the right times.

    • Are they paying their bills? The more common reason for unpaid bills isn’t that your parents don’t have the money. It’s more likely that they simply forgot to pay their bills. They may even have forgotten to open their mail.

      This forgetfulness can lead to rather troublesome results. If they don’t pay their credit card bills, they may owe more in interest charges and their credit scores may suffer. They may even have their utilities suspended until they pay up.

Asking these questions when you are with your loved ones will provide valuable insight. If you are getting the wrong answers to these questions, it could be time to look at in-home care.

If you have any further questions regarding in-home care for your loved one, please contact us at your convenience.

Home Helpers of Northwest Arkansas is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care as well as homemaker services in Gravette, Lowell, Centerton, Farmington, Pea Ridge, Gentry, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista, and Siloam Springs.

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