Knowing When it’s Time to Hire In-Home Help

April 15, 2021 | BY PHS Staff


Signs of cognitive, behavior and mobility decline in seniors can come on so slowly that you as the adult child, for instance, don’t always see them until the need for extra help is urgent. That being said, a change in functioning doesn’t always mean they have to go to a nursing home or  assisted living facility, but it may indicate a need for extra assistance to support your aging loved one’s desire to age in place and remain somewhat independent, says AgingCare.

Family members often have good intentions to provide supervision and support by visiting the home as much as they can. But you are busy with your own life, and each day brings unique challenges that disrupt schedules and sideline even the best of intentions. However, hiring a professional caregiver to fill those gaps with senior home care services can provide the solution everyone needs. They can address your loved one’s increasing care needs, whether that involves personal assistance with bathing and dressing, companion care, or homemaker services such as handling laundry and meal prep.

Signs Your Senior Needs Extra Help

You as the family member may be noticing signs here and there that your loved one needs extra help with day to day tasks. Here are some of the common ones:

Changes in personal appearance and household cleanliness: These can signal a shift in physical or mental status. Even the subtlest of behavioral changes can mean the senior can’t adequately or safely complete once-familiar tasks without help. You may notice piles of unopened mail, or maybe you see only convenience foods in the pantry due to an uneasiness about cooking. Perhaps your mom, who once took so much pride in her appearance, has now let herself go, wears the same clothes day after day, and doesn’t wash her hair. Or maybe you’ve been concerned that your parents’ once-meticulously cared-for home is now in disarray. Whatever the case may be, this indicates a decline in functional abilities.

Household chores are not getting done: Anything from preparing a healthy meal to getting the laundry done to even getting dressed in the morning can become a challenge for seniors who are getting forgetful or who are having trouble with fine motor skills. In some cases, memory or mobility issues can lead to extreme clutter and unsanitary conditions. This is a sure sign they need outside help to ensure their health and safety while in the home. Other signs include inadequate fresh food, weight loss, missed medications, and unexplained bruising (indicating frequent falls).

Lack of personal hygiene: When you see a deviation in established personal grooming habits, this is another red flag. Someone who used to apply makeup and do her hair every day who now dresses in a housecoat and neglects to wash up in the morning…someone who emits body odor and wears the same shirt and pants every day…these are all alarming signs of decline in personal care. Your senior may not have the dexterity to bathe on their own anymore, or bring large loads of laundry down to the basement, or have the fine motor skills to apply makeup.

New or worsening health issues: While a senior care services provider isn’t a nurse and can’t provide medical care, they can help seniors monitor vital signs, remind them to take their medications, manage chronic conditions, set up therapy exercises, care for wounds, and generally help them perform daily tasks while still maintaining dignity and independence.

Moving Past the Guilt

It’s common for caregivers to feel guilty about reaching out for help – like they’re letting their parent down. On the flip side, though, it’s common for the care recipient to also feel guilty about being a burden, points out Johns Hopkins Medicine.

It’s important to get past those feelings by talking about them and keeping the lines of communication open between caregiver and senior.

Contact Preferred HealthStaff

If you have been seeing signs it’s time to hire at home care for your aging parent or other loved one, get the help you need when you contact us toll free at 866-943-9791 or in Fairfield 717-642-8500.