When Does Your Aging Parent Need Help?

elderly Mom talking with daughter

We recently offered some comparisons between Assisted Living and In-Home Care for eldercare. One of the best things about home care is the flexibility it offers. It allows a client and family to be proactive and have some control over what happens in the aging process.

By bringing in assistance in some key areas, elders can stay healthy and safe and prolong the need for more intensive care (and thus save money too). Unfortunately, this happens less often than it could, so today we offer help with some frequently asked questions about eldercare options:

How do you know if the time might have arrived to bring in some help? What services can home care offer for healthy aging-in-place? And, how can I convince an aging parent that this will be helpful (and rather than a loss of independence, the chance to have some control)?

If you notice any of the following, your loved one could benefit from eldercare assistance:

  • The home is not kept up/needs repairs or the person becomes injured while trying to do repairs, the home is not as clean as usual, the person falls victim to home repair scams, etc.
  • Meals mainly consist of convenience foods or junk food, pantry/fridge has expired/moldy food, your loved one has difficulty cooking or getting out to shop for ingredients.
  • Your loved one takes several medications and/or sees several specialists for multiple health conditions.
  • Your loved one takes a fall, or has unexplained injuries.
  • Mom has begun limiting her activities (no longer taking her favorite walk or attending her bridge game; changing her routine).
  • Dad decides to stop driving, or your family discusses the possibility that he should “give up the car keys”.
  • You notice signs of withdrawal and/or depression.
  • You notice changes in appearance and grooming habits (Mom’s clothes are disheveled or she stays in her nightgown, Dad does not appear to be bathing or shaving often).

For more signs and information, you might want to download the “Aging Parent Warning Signs” checklist put together by our Aging Wisely care managers.

Home care services can help someone stay safe and healthy in their own home longer by:

  • Ensuring good nutrition by shopping for healthy ingredients and preparing home-cooked meals.
  • Supervising proper medication management.
  • Helping ensure care continuity with appointment reminders and transportation to doctor’s appointments.
  • Keeping your loved one active and engaged with in-home activities, companionship and outings.
  • Assisting with maintaining a clean and healthy environment: light housekeeping, organizing projects, reducing clutter.
  • Offering dignified assistance with grooming (relieving the embarrassment/strain of having an adult child help with personal matters and helping the person feel good about him/herself again).
  • Being “eyes and ears” for safety support, noticing changes or concerns.

For more details about many things a home caregiver can do, check out our 50 Ways Home Care Can Help.

When it is time to approach a loved one about your concerns, think about your approach and be prepared for resistance (here are some of the common reasons behind this resistance). Check out our 10 Ways to Convince Aging Parents to Get Home Care Assistance.One of the best techniques is to start small, maybe with a caregiver to do shopping or light housekeeping. Talk to potential home care companies about their quality control, how they pick their caregivers and match one to your needs and their ideas for approaching the situation.

With a little help, your aging parent can have a better quality of life and better their chances of being able to stay at home longer. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Senior Care Consultant!