As family members advance in age, they may face physical and cognitive changes that make it challenging to live independently. Nonetheless, most older adults prefer growing old in their own homes rather than moving into a long-term care facility. Home health care services offer a solution that provides meaningful assistance to family members acting as caregivers without the same feeling of lost independence that sometimes accompanies moving into a nursing home.
If you are caring for an elderly family member in New York, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or the Bronx, Parent Care can help you find peace of mind by offering the best possible at-home care. If you are wondering when you should consider home health care for older family members, these are the signs that it’s time to get help.
Signs That Older Family Members Can Benefit From Home Health Care Services
Falling Behind on Regular Tasks
You may notice a regularly immaculate home fall into disarray with stacks of mail, unpaid bills, an overgrown lawn, and trash piling up. This indicates that your family member is struggling to keep up with the regular routines of managing their home.
A home health care aide can assist with light housekeeping, such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry, taking out the trash, and tending to the lawn. Alleviating the stress of keeping a tidy home can help your loved one rest in the comfort they deserve.
Changes in Hygiene
Changes in appearance or hygiene practices are often the first sign family members notice that their loved one needs assistance. You may notice subtle changes like disheveled hair or significant issues like dirty clothing, strong body odor, or the smell of urine. Noticeable changes in grooming habits tell you that an aging family member is struggling to care for themselves, and sometimes it can be embarrassing to ask family for help with hygiene.
Your aide can assist with toileting, bathing, grooming, and getting dressed. They can prepare baths, clean bathrooms, and restock toiletries. Restoring a reliable grooming routine goes a long way toward making your loved one feel happy and healthy.
Struggling With Meals
A person who previously loved to cook may lose interest, and you might notice they aren’t eating regular meals. Even if you don’t observe this loss of interest in mealtime directly, you may notice some weight loss. Cooking and consuming healthy food can become a struggle, but good nutrition is necessary for health and energy.
An aide can make sure your family member gets the nutrition they need by shopping for groceries, preparing meals, assisting at mealtime, and cleaning dishes. You can have peace of mind that the person you care for is getting the nutrition they need.
When an elderly person begins to struggle with mobility and coordination, you may notice them walking with an unsteady gait or grabbing walls and furniture to help them navigate their own home. If you see unexplained bruising, it indicates an increase in falling, which is a very serious concern. Every fall risks an injury that could have a significant health impact or end your family member’s ability to live independently.
Certain parts of the home, such as baths and stairs, pose an increased risk of falls. These fall risks can be minimized by an aide who helps your loved one navigate the home. And routine visits from the aide will give you an extra set of eyes checking to make sure they are okay.
Loss of Travel Ability
One of the most challenging aspects of aging is losing the ability to drive safely or navigate public transportation. This feels like a loss of freedom as an aging person becomes reliant on others to help them travel. An aide can alleviate this feeling of loss by escorting your loved one to appointments and running errands, like grocery shopping.
Some of the most serious concerns for an aging family member stem from cognitive decline, which can result in a failure to take important medications or in wandering from home and getting lost. It is important to make sure your family member knows what to do in emergencies and can take those actions quickly. If any of these things become a concern, you will want assistance keeping an eye on your loved one and helping them perform important routines.
Feelings of social isolation and loneliness are correlated with a higher risk of negative health outcomes. But as aging poses increased challenges for getting out of the house, it becomes more difficult to get regular social interaction. An aide can offer companionship and spend time on activities like playing cards or going for walks while also enabling your family member to stay in the community where their friends and family live.
Parent Care’s aides view their services as much more than a job and strive to bring an unmatched personal touch to caregiving. We treat patients like family.
Recovering From an Illness or Injury
Oftentimes, a person first seeks home health care services after an illness or injury. Home healthcare providers are trained to provide the additional mobility assistance that a recovering patient might need, such as moving from a bed to a chair, turning or repositioning in a bed, working on range of motion, and walking. This assistance can result in a better and faster recovery for your family member.
Needing Palliative Care
If a family member is dealing with a serious illness or drawing close to their last moments, Parent Care can help you make them as comfortable as possible. We approach these services with affection and professionalism, and you guide the direction until the last minute. This enables you to find time for attending to other important tasks while allowing your loved one to rest comfortably in their home through their final moments.
You Are Approaching Caregiver Burnout
Caring for an aging family member can be a full-time job while you still have to attend to your personal life and employment. It can quickly become overwhelming, affecting your health, relationships, and job performance. If you find your sleep disrupted, family or friends expressing concern for your wellbeing, a loss of interest in activities you used to find joyful, or a growing resentment toward the person you are caring for, it is time to seek help.
Caring for an older family member takes a lot, and you don’t have to do it alone. Parent Care can give you time to rest, recover, and take care of your own needs while you have peace of mind that your loved one is well cared for. We can also coordinate multiple participants in a family member’s care, such as a group of siblings, to make sure everyone concerned receives frequent updates and participates in planning.
Home health care services offer health and living assistance without requiring you to keep your loved one in a hospital or long-term care facility. We match families in New York, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn with the best available home health aides to meet their needs and provide peace of mind while they focus on activities and emergencies in their own lives. Contact Parent Care today to learn more about how home health services can help you care for your loved one.