How to Determine if Your Loved One Needs Assistance

As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement, more and more attention has been focused on the increase in assisted living, retirement, and at home senior care services.  For adult children facing the aging of a loved one of the hardest decision to make will be determining if and when your loved one needs assistance, and then determining the level and type of assistance they need.  Here are some of the key indicators that your loved one might need assistance:

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  • For many seniors it is a sudden health scare or concern that brings attention to the need of additional care.  After a fall, an injury, or an illness it is common for families to re-evaluate the care that might be needed at home.  If your family member has had a sudden change in their abilities because of a sudden change of health status you will quickly begin to evaluate their daily needs and what services can help make life easier for them.
  • One of the most important indicators without a sudden onset that can mean it’s time to look for assistance is a change in their overall appearance or activity level.  When family members begin to notice an unkempt look or a lack of motivation to leave the house or be involved in activities they normally enjoyed it is an indication that they may be overwhelmed with simple daily tasks.  Be observant of the cleanliness you notice in your loved one during visits.
  • What is your loved one’s general health like?  If you begin to notice a dramatic weight loss, bags under the eyes, or even small injuries or bruises these could be an indication that they need assistance.  Many seniors begin to slow down and don’t often cook full meals for themselves or sometimes even remember to cook at all.  They become more prone to injuries even from slight bumps into objects.  These indications of declining health and wellness are an important sign that it is time to involve a care provider.
  • Does time seem to stop or run together for your loved one?  Your loved one doesn’t have to have Alzheimer’s to experience forgetfulness or a sense of days running into each other.  For many seniors a caregiver can be a beneficial in helping to provide a connection to the ongoing world outside of their home.  They can help with keeping track of important activities and events, as well as helping to track medications and meals.  If your parent is still living at home a caregiver can also help with reminders about bills and other tasks that should be completed on a regular basis.
  • How well can your loved one get around?  If moving around or transferring themselves from one location to another becomes difficult a service provider can be there as a means of support as well as to take care of important tasks.  In home care can provide assistance with personal hygiene as well as light housework duties.  As it becomes more and more difficult to get around other living arrangements and facilities should be considered that provide even more care.

The reality of the challenges faced by aging seniors can become overwhelming if left to face alone.  As you begin to notice changes in the behavior and skill level of your loved one, it is time to consider their needs and the important benefit senior care can be for them.

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