A recent article from
Aging Care, a leading resource in geriatrics, outlines the changes that happen as
we age – changes in both physical and cognitive function. These
two broad areas can dramatically impact the safety of an aging loved one.
Let’s break these two areas down into everyday examples:
Difficulty with Daily Tasks – As mobility changes, it can be difficult to shop, cook, and clean. When
you visit your loved one, check that there is fresh (not expired) food
in the fridge, and that the home looks well maintained, free of tripping
hazards, clutter, or garbage. These can all be signs that a little assistance
would be helpful to enjoy quality of life at home.
Differences in Physical Appearance– Are their clothes clean and seasonally appropriate? Do they look and smell
clean? Are their fingernails trimmed? Are they bruised or hurt in any
manner? Changes to hygiene may indicate they need someone to assist, as
an inability to maintain one’s hygiene can have a negative impact
on both physical and mental health.
Changes in Behavior or Mental Acuity– Have you noticed they’re spending more time alone at home, or not
attending the same activities they enjoyed before? Listen to how your
loved one is talking: is their mood positive, or do they seem to lack
drive or motivation? Try to assess if they have meaningful connections
with others – are they calling or visiting with friends and family?
Are you noticing that they are not following conversations? Two things
can be the cause of this – one physical and one cognitive. Be sure
your loved one’s hearing isn’t impaired. People often confuse
their loved one’s lack of engagement as being “down”
or anti-social, but it is hard to be engaged with the conversation when
someone cannot hear. Cognitive issues are a matter of mental health, especially
today when too many seniors are isolated and in need of meaningful interactions.
Neglecting Household Responsibilities– Unopened mail, unpaid bills, clutter, broken or improperly-maintained
household items are all examples to look out for. Are they getting their
prescriptions refilled? These responsibilities, when not maintained, can
have serious ramifications.
As our loved ones age, it’s important to keep these factors in mind,
as change can happen more acutely in an elderly person. We often hear
that seniors are reluctant to talk about these changes, worrying it could
mean a loss of independence, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
What to do if you “Notice the Need”
Many people can worry that noticing these needs will require an extreme
change that may cause their loved one to lose their independence and/or
can be very costly. Often that isn’t the case. Many people, as they
age, could use a little help making life easier. That’s where home
care can be a tremendous – and more economical - solution.
For example, Home Helpers Home Care® offers a program, Cared-4, that
is entirely customizable to the needs of each client. Cared-4 focuses
on the four leading causes of loss of independence and hospitalization.
- Failure to take needed prescriptions
- Inability to maintain proper nutrition
- Lack of cleanliness – both personally and in the home
- Decreases social Engagement or meaningful connections with others
Home Helpers® Home Care Cared-4℠ program covers every need to keep someone independent, safe and comfortable
at home. The customized care plan is tailored to your loved one’s
specific needs and can include:
Personal Care and Companionship-Help with the basic activities of daily living like hygiene, cooking,
mobility, errands and light housekeeping.
Wellness Calls- Providing needed reminders or just a simple hello and check-in.
Safety and 24-Hour Monitoring- Providing round-the-clock support with monitoring services.
Nutrition and Well-Being- Assistance with healthy meals, physical acitivity, doctor visits and exercising the mind.
If you’ve noticed a need arising with your aging loved one, Home
Helpers® is here to answer all your questions. The FREE In-Home Care
Assessment will give you a chance to meet our team, talk about your concerns,
and create a Cared-4 care plan to meet your loved one’s needs both
today and as their needs change.
Bringing in support early is an excellent, cost-saving way for your loved
one to remain safe and independent, to age where they want to: in the
comfort of their own home.