4 min read
6 Signs your loved one may be ready for in-home support
Here's our list of what to look for...
Deciding when it is time for in-home care is a personal decision, but it helps to have a little guidance along the way. We’ve put together a list of the top signs that might mean it’s time to seek in-home support.
1. Family Caregiver Burnout
Many of us in our lifetimes will provide care for a loved one and deal with the struggle to balance our own needs with those of our families. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months” (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.).
As the primary caregiver for your loved one, if you find yourself unable to provide the amount of care they need it might be time to ask for help.Sometimes, even if you are able to provide the care your loved one needs, the physical and emotional demands of caregiving may cause stress and even burnout. If your health and relationships suffer, it is time for support. Hiring an in-home caregiver to provide respite care can allow you to take necessary breaks for self-care.
2. Safety Concerns
Be mindful of how often accidents, injuries, and other incidents occur. If your loved one is falling more frequently, not taking medications, having difficulty while driving, forgetting household responsibilities, like leaving the stove on, the risk of injury is high. More oversight and monitoring are needed to ensure safety, and consultation with their physician might be necessary as well.
Our tip: keep track of when incidents occur. This record may be helpful in discussions with your loved one and their physician as you begin creating a care plan.
3. Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, are routine, self-care tasks that contribute to our ability to live independently, including things like bathing or showering, dressing, getting in and out of bed or a chair, walking, using the toilet, performing household tasks like cleaning or meal preparation, and eating.
When someone struggles with one or more of these daily activities, it may be for a range of reasons: they may be recovering from an injury, living with a chronic or acute illness or a decline related to cognitive impairment, or simply experiencing muscle weakness. Some older adults might need assistance with multiple ADLs, while others with fewer needs might prefer to hire in-home care as supplemental support for one or two of their ADLs. In-home care is flexible, and can adjust to your loved one’s changing needs over time.
As family members or as part of an older adult’s support network, sometimes we’re far away and unable to visit as much as we’d like. Difficulty with technology or speaking over the phone may cause problems with our ability to communicate with long distance older loved ones.
But whether we’re near or far, it’s important to be aware of signs of loneliness in our older loved ones. Social isolation can lead to depression and anxiety, and a lack of connection with others can have a negative effect on mental and physical health. In-home companion services can help, by providing socialization, care, and comfort,as well as reassurance for long distance family members with regular, in-person checks on emotional and physical well being.
5. Lack of Cognitive Stimulation
It’s important to be aware of your loved one’s opportunities for cognitive stimulation in their day-to-day lives. Active mental engagement supports memory, mental health, and well-being. In-home care professionals can help provide opportunities for healthy cognitive stimulation through socialization, outings, and support with your loved one’s interests and preferred activities, whether it’s learning about technology, gardening, reading, or interacting with their local community.
6. Financial benefit
While all professional care is a financial commitment, for many it may make sense to remain in their own homes for as long as possible with the support of in-home care, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Here are some factors to consider when weighing the care options for your loved one:
Location - Try to maintain an easy commuting distance to your loved one if possible, especially if you visit frequently or intend to provide care yourself
Cost - While it may seem beneficial to relocate to a community where many services are provided, consider that companion care is often not included or very limited. The cost of additional care services might continue to add up
Insurance - Researching what services your insurance covers may better help you understand what’s possible in the immediate future and long term
Flexibility - Remaining at home may be the most cost-effective strategy as care can be tailored to their own unique needs, so you only pay for the services you want
For more on deciding if in-home care is right for your loved one, read our article on the benefits of in-home care.
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