Many people incorrectly associate advanced age with the need for in-home care. However, many elderly people live independently and just as many middle-aged people could benefit from some home health care assistance. It can be difficult to recognize the signs in your loved one, that they may benefit from some form of in-home care. Here at Angels On-Call Homecare, we believe that being at home is the best place in the world and sometimes we all need someone to watch over us. We have compiled a helpful list of a few indications that your loved one may benefit from home care.
#1 Change in Medical Status
They Require Therapy
If your loved one was admitted to the hospital for a medical or surgical issue, once they are released, there will likely be an order or recommendation to follow-up with therapy — physical, occupational, or speech therapy. If the problem is not acute enough to require a stay at a rehabilitation center, or your loved one prefers to return home for therapy, home health services can help. Your loved one can schedule regular visits from a therapist, or use companion care to have someone help them get ready for the appointment, drive them to the therapy clinic, and then return them home.
They Require Palliative or Hospice Care
When a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness and decides to stop seeking treatment, palliative care or hospice care can help ease the transition from life to death much easier. Although many facilities offer hospice rooms or palliative care for their patients, some may prefer to spend their last days at home. To ease the effect it may have on family caretakers and to offer some medicinal pain relief, a hospice or home-health nurse can be extremely beneficial to the entire family.
Decline in Health
Perhaps your loved one was not admitted to the hospital, but has been increasingly ill and not as readily able to care for themselves, be it remembering to take medications or the ability to bathe themselves, an in-home companion can help with all of the daily tasks. If full-time care is not needed, regular visits from a home health nurse can help identify health issues before they require hospitalization and help keep your loved one on schedule with medications and treatments.
#2 Change in Abilities
Changes in memory as we age are normal, however forgetting a family member’s name or where you live, can be an indication that something serious is going on or that your loved one may require regular help. Memory loss is a classic sign of dementia, which may have several causes from a simple urinary tract infection to Alzheimer’s Disease. If your loved one has progressed to the point that they often forget where they are or what they are doing, continuous in-home companion care may be beneficial.
Change in Habits
If pain, memory loss, or decreases in agility have caused a change in normal habits, it could be a sign that your loved one requires some outside assistance. Usually, changes in eating habits, grooming, and household cleanliness are the first things family members will notice. Home health companions can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. Housekeepers can help keep your loved one’s home orderly and laundry washed.
If your loved one has had a recent fall or in-home accident, it may be time to hire some assistance. If your loved one is still active and does not require an assistive device, an occupational therapist can assess their home and offer some safety tips such as which rugs to remove or whether adding bathroom rails can help. If your loved one does require an assistive device, such as a walker or a cane, they can help safeguard against falls. Regular visits from a home health aid can help complete the tasks that are most likely to result in falls.
Depression in the elderly is a growing concern. As the health and stability of a person change, they may become more socially isolated. Naturally, as we age, those we are close to — friends, family, lovers — may die. Without required social engagement such as a job or volunteer activity, it is easy for the elderly, especially if movement and driving are limited, isolation can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A home health companion can offer companionship for the lonely, or provide transportation to social recreation activities.
Family and friends often work hard to take care of their loved ones. If this is the case for your loved one, Angels on-Call Homecare can help! We can help with medical intervention, routine housekeeping, or respite care for you and other caretakers. The beauty of home care is there are so many options, from limited and basic to complete care. Call our knowledgeable representatives to schedule your family’s evaluation.