Finding Quality Home Care: What are the Signs that Your Aging Parent Needs In-Home Care?

on 11/25/2014 - 02:35 am

In-home care services are provided by a person to help your elderly parents perform everyday tasks, while continuing to live in their home. The caretaker is usually not a medical professional but many states require a license to provide this service.  Below are some signs that your elderly loved one may need some help around the house. The extra help may be needed every day or just a few days a week.

  • Uncertainty and confusion when performing familiar tasks that used to be easy for them to perform.
  • There is a noticeable decline in personal grooming habits. Hair is unkempt, infrequent bathing or showering, wearing wrinkled or soiled clothing, and no longer applying any make-up.
  • Difficulty with getting up from a seated position. This could be a sign of arthritis or some other condition causing flexibility problems of the knee, hips, or arms
  • Difficulty with walking, balance, and overall mobility.
  • Spoiled food in the refrigerator that doesn't get thrown away.
  • Clutter and unopened mail in a house that used to be immaculate. This could be from mobility problems or forgetfulness.
  • Dirty laundry piling up instead of being washed and put away.
  • Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors due to either forgetfulness or the inability to write due to a condition like arthritis.
  • Unexplained sudden loss in weight due to poor diet or not eating regularly. A loss in appetite could be a sign of a more serious health problem.
  • Signs of dementia or the early signs of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. This would be things like not recognizing you or close friends who visit.
  • Forgetting to take prescribed medications or taking more or less of the required dose. This can be especially dangerous if the medication is for a chronic illness like hypertension.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that your parent used to enjoy. This could be from a lack of energy due to not eating regularly, or chronic pain due to a condition like arthritis.

Your loved one may insist that they don't need any help around the house. They may also insist that they are quite capable of taking care of themselves. They may try to make excuses like they weren't feeling well the week before and didn't feel up to house work. It is up to you to monitor the situation and determine if your elderly parent requires some help.