Signs That An Older Adult Might Need Home Care Services

After the holidays, we often hear from people who say they saw their parents or other loved one in November or December for the first time in a while—maybe because of COVID or simply because they live in a different time zone from their parents. During their visit, they noticed signs that the older adult is having some difficulty with day-to-day living.

Some obvious warning signs are forgetfulness or confusion, especially when it affects their lifestyle, and unexplained weight loss or changes in appetite. In addition, your loved one might be having difficulty with:

Mother and son together at home
  • Daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry
  • Personal care such as bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Medication management
  • Mobility, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs
  • Managing finances or paying bills
  • Transportation or running errands
  • Maintaining the home, such as keeping it clean or making repairs
  • Maintaining communication with family and friends

It’s important to keep in mind that these signs can also be caused by other factors, such as a physical or mental health condition. Are they seeing their doctor regularly, and getting all the recommended vaccines and screenings?

Home care services can be a great help for older adults who wish to continue living at home. But convincing a parent or other loved one that they need in-home help can be a delicate process. They may be resistant to the idea of having someone else assist them with their daily activities and being in their home. Here are some tips that may help:

Start a conversation: Begin by expressing your concerns about their well-being and safety, and asking if they have noticed any difficulties with their daily activities. Be sure to listen actively to their concerns and take them into account.

Share information: Give them with information about the benefits of in-home help, such as how it can improve their quality of life and help them maintain their independence. Assure them that they will still be able to maintain control over their home and their daily routines.

Involve a healthcare professional: A visit with their doctor or a geriatric care manager can provide them with a professional assessment of their needs and help to validate your concerns.

Be flexible: Be open to considering different options for in-home help, such as part-time or occasional assistance, rather than a full-time live-in aide.

Offer to help: Show that you are willing to be involved and help with the process of finding and setting up in-home help.

Be patient: Change can be difficult, and it may take some time for your loved one to adjust to the idea of having in-home help. Be patient and continue to support them throughout the process.

Remember to be respectful of their autonomy and decision making. It’s important to respect their choice even if it’s not the one you would have made for them.

If you do live in a different time zone from your older loved one, working with a home-care services agency like Windward can also give you peace of mind. We’ll see them regularly, and our aides know how to recognize signs that they may need clinical care. What’s more, if they live alone, they will benefit from the additional companionship. Loneliness can damage both mental and physical health.

We’re here to answer your questions. Please let us know how we can help.