Most seniors are enjoying their silver years being happy, healthy and independent, however, some may benefit from extra assistance depending on their individual circumstances. This subject may also be a sensitive topic as seniors have lived a rich life full of personal adventure and professional excellence. They are used to people, especially their children, being dependent on them, rather than them growing dependent on their children. This can be a frustrating and difficult transition; therefore, it is important to address this developmental milestone with grace and empathy. Ensure that you are keeping an open and honest line of communication with your elderly loved one and directly address their emotional and physical concerns in regard to independence and assistance. Each person and their situation are unique and it may be difficult to recognize when to broach the subject of in-home care. There are some key signs to be mindful of when considering if it is time to assess the need for in-home care.
- Caregiver Burnout
It can be emotionally and physically taxing to be the sole or primary caregiver for an elderly loved one. Caregiver burnout can lead to anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. It is critical that the care the senior needs is able to be met without overtly burdening any one person too drastically.
- Memory Impairment
Memory loss or forgetfulness is a key sign because although it can seem harmless or innocuous it can have huge consequences. Missed medication, medical appointments and hazards such as ovens left on can have dire repercussions.
- Decline in Self-Care
Hygiene and personal care are important to mental and physical wellness. If you have noticed a decline in their personal hygiene or environmental cleanliness then it may be time to hire a personal care worker in order to keep up with daily chores.
- Physical Safety
Have you noticed more bumps and bruises on your loved one? They may be having difficulty with mobility or movement. This can also be dangerous because an inability to regulate their mobility can affect driving and thus lead to dangerous driving. It is important to keep your loved one and others safe by minimizing physical risk.
- Mental Health
Companionship care is valuable care for seniors who may be independent but suffering from loneliness and depression. For seniors who are distant from relatives, widowed or isolated from friends in their local community, hiring a personal care worker to visit and help can be just the boost in morale your loved one needs.
Every senior will have a unique living situation. Some of these signs may not be apparent, or obvious in their situation. It is valuable to open up a discussion with them about any feelings of deficit in their life, and how in-home personal care can actually increase independence, and help them achieve their own personal goals. Some resistant seniors may say that it is up to their primary caregiver or their relatives to step up and help, but sometimes this is not feasible. Even family has their own needs and limits, so hiring a personal care worker can be very helpful in picking up any slack or even increasing their quality of life. These transitions may be difficult, but by addressing them with kindness and honesty, and keeping your elderly loved one in the decision-making process you may find there are creative solutions that work for everyone.
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