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Four Questions to Ask Your Aging Parent Before Planning Home Care Services

It's time to pick a home care agency for your mom. She's having a hard time keeping up with housework. She's definitely not eating well. Before you start making decisions, there are four answers you need to get from her.

How is Your Health?

You need your mom to answer honestly, and she may not be as forthcoming as you need. If possible, talk to her doctor to get additional information. If your mom has a chronic condition like high blood pressure, glaucoma, or arthritis, she may need additional help to stay as healthy as possible.

Home care providers offer many services, including medication reminders, transportation services, meal preparation, and companionship. By knowing her health situation, you'll have some clues as to what services that can help her.

What Do You Most Fear?

Ask your mom what scares her the most about aging at home. The things you think she struggles with may be things she's comfortable with. Some seniors fear falling and not being discovered for days or weeks. Others fear losing the ability to drive. They see the loss of keys as a loss of personal freedom and the chance to go out and socialize.

Do Your Friends Have Caregivers?

See if your mom has friends who already have home care services. If they have caregivers, they can tell your mom what it's like. They may have suggestions on which agency they like best and what services they get.

If possible, have your mom visit those friends on a day a caregiver is there. She'll see what it's like to have a caregiver's help. It can reaffirm that caregiving is meant to help maintain independence at home and not to infringe on privacy.

What is Your Daily Schedule Like?

Find out what your mom's schedule is like. How does she spend her entire day? As you learn more about the things she tries to do during the day, you'll start to get a good idea on where caregivers can help. If it's taking her an extended amount of time gathering laundry and getting it safely into the basement, it could be a household chore that's too hard for her now.

Things to think about are if she always takes her medications on time. Does she forget doses every now and then? Is she remembering to have prescriptions refilled on a timely basis? Is she able to make appointments by herself? Can she get to those appointments on time? Does she sometimes forget to eat, when the laundry needs to be done, which rooms in the house need to be cleaned, etc.?

Get these four answers. Once you have them, you can determine exactly what you senior needs from a home care provider and discuss a plan with an agency. 

If you are considering home care in Centerville, VA, for an elderly loved one, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers Home Care in Leesburg. (703) 297-4642.