Especially around the holidays, when we tend to see so much of our loved ones, it becomes apparent that some of our family members may need a little help at home. Look for signs like this that indicate they could need more care than they are getting:
- Does your loved one have difficulty remembering major events? Memory problems can affect every area of an older adult’s life, from medication mistakes to unsafe driving, poor bedtime habits, lack of personal care, etc.
- Does your loved one have a large quantity of medications, with perhaps several different doctors prescribing them? Older adults face serious health risks if they don’t take their medication properly.
- Is your loved one’s house disorganized, with chores undone or bills unpaid? Household management can easily become overwhelming leaving older adults embarrassed, helpless, and frustrated and may create safety or financial problems for themselves.
- Do hazards in the home put your loved one at risk? Extension cords, basement laundry rooms, thick carpets, throw rugs, dim lighting, and too much furniture can cause falls. The risk increases even more when you add impaired vision, unsteady gait, and overmedication.
- Has someone close to your loved one recently become ill or passed away? It’s common for older adults to depend on someone else. When that person can’t help, your loved one may not have all of his or her needs met.
- Do you feel your loved one is hiding the truth by not expressing how difficult it is to care for his or her spouse? The caregiving spouse often develops more health problems than the one who is receiving care.
If you see any of these signs in your loved one, you should begin planning for the future by assessing his or her medical conditions, level of income/assets, and preferences for long-term care. Also think about your own capability for caregiving. How much time, energy, and money can you contribute to your loved one’s needs?
Whether it’s 3 hours a day or 24, a little help from Home Care Assistance Columbus will go a long way toward ensuring that your loved one can age well at home —which is where 89% of older adults want to stay. There’s no place like home!