At What Point Can a Person No Longer Stay in Home Care?

Helping your parents or loved ones deal with aging is one of the most common challenges faced by adult children.  For adult children it is hard to face the reality that parents are slowing down and may need additional help.  It is important to know the signs to look for when determining what point they can no longer stay at home even with home care.  Here are the important signs to look for:

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  • At first it may be possible for elderly parents to stay in their own home with the assistance of home care services.  Home care services can range from periodic to daily support for your loved one.  Home care services can include housekeeping, help with daily home management, and even personal care and hygiene.  When even with daily assistance your loved ones begins to shows signs of struggle it is time to consider facility care.
  • Watch and determine how competent they are to care for their own daily needs.  The most important sign that indicates it is time for assisted living or nursing care is the inability to care for their selves.  Watch for signs of poor hygiene including noticing if they are wearing the same clothes, if it appears they are not bathing, or even if they are having struggles with personal care and toileting.
  • Is your loved one beginning to lose track of time or forget people.  Signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s should be carefully watched for.  While one forgetful moment may not be an indication of any type of problem, ongoing forgetfulness can be sign you need to have concerns about.  If you loved one can no longer remember important things such as times to take medications or even if they have taken medications or not, when they last ate, or important information for getting to and from home it is time to consider more extensive care options.
  • In addition to signs of failing mental awareness, you should look for signs of declining health.  One of the most common reasons that elderly people enter a nursing facility is after a health concern.  If you begin to notice more falls, weakness, reoccurring illnesses, or other health concerns it is probably time to consider facility care where your loved one will have around the clock care and monitoring.
  • How well is your loved one eating?  While the other signs may be more obvious clues that it is time to consider a care facility, watching how your loved one eats could be a vital clue to their overall well being.  From buying, preparing, to just remembering to eat the food it is important to their health as well as an important gauge of how much care they need.  If you begin to notice food in the refrigerator that is spoiling or other signs of neglected food it might be time to consider the options including a care facility or at home care.

Making the decision to move your aging parent to a full time care facility can be a difficult one.  Whether the transition is because they don’t want to go, the cost, or simply the realization of what a full time care facility can mean long term; when you begin to see signs that your loved one can no longer care for themselves it is time to consider the various options and choose the one that offers the best long term results.

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