When spending time with an aging family member in their own home, make sure you watch for tell-tale signs that your parent may need assistance from a caregiver. Not all in-home assistance is medical. Much of caregiving involves helping people with ADL’s… activities of daily living, such as responding to mail, help with personal hygiene and medication reminders, meal preparation and fall prevention.
Whether they live in the Lexington area, or another part of the country, these 10 warning signs will help you make a decision about whether your aging parent or relative needs assistance at home.
Do You Need In Home Care?
1) A change of eating habits such as skipping meals, or a loss of appetite brought on by medication side effects, depression or memory impairment, could lead to malnutrition or rapid unhealthy weight loss.
2) Neglecting personal hygiene. Do they wear dirty clothing, have body odor, bad breath, neglected nails or teeth, or sores on their skin?
3) Neglecting the cleanliness of their home. Is the place cluttered, and not as clean and organized as you remember it being when you were growing up?
4) Exhibiting odd behavior, such as being unusually loud or quiet, acting paranoid, or agitated, even making phone calls at strange hours.
5) Changing relationship patterns with friends and family. Have those people made comments, or expressed any concerns?
6) Having physical injuries or problems from general weakness, forgetfulness, or possible misuse of prescribed medications or alcohol.
7) No longer attending activities that were usually very important to them. Activities like going to bridge club, meeting friends, walking the dog, or attending religious services.
8) Exhibiting forgetfulness resulting in unopened mail, piles of newspapers, not filling their prescriptions, missing appointments, and forgetting where they put items around the house.
9) Mishandling money and finances such as not paying bills, paying bills more than once, hiding money, losing money, or handing money out to strangers.
10) Making unusual purchases, such as buying the same item multiple times (like a newspaper or magazine), or frequent purchasing from television advertisements.
These ten warning signs send a strong signal that your older loved one may need a full or part-time caregiver or visiting home helper. Take your loved one to his or her doctor, and have them evaluated. Discuss your observations with your spouse or siblings.
If you decide that an in home care is needed call us today at 781.862.3300.