While the thought of giving up their independence may be unpleasant, there may be a time in senior citizens' lives when they may be unable to live independently anymore. Fortunately, in-home care services, such as nursing care, laundry and housekeeping services, and companion programs are available to help. Here are three ways to tell if your loved one needs in-home care:
The next time you visit your senior loved one, take note of his or her hygiene. If the elderly person's clothing is soiled or stained, their nails are dirty, or their hair is greasy, cognitive deficits may be to blame. People with cognitive deficits, memory problems, or dementia are unable to care for themselves independently, so reaching out to an in-home health care agency will be a prudent approach.
Your loved one may protest at first, but in the long run, he or she may come to realize that it was a good decision. Poor hygiene not only contributes to pervasive odors in the home and an unkempt appearance, but it may also raise the risk for illnesses such as bacterial infections, rashes, and gastrointestinal problems.
Urinary or fecal incontinence is another sign that your senior loved one may not be able to live independently anymore. While it is not uncommon for elderly people to have accidents of incontinence once in a while, people who are totally unable to control their bladder and bowel function may need home health care services.
If your loved one has an accident on the floor and the floor becomes wet or slippery, he or she may fall and suffer a fracture. Also, when people are unable to clean themselves after urination or a bowel movement, skin irritation may develop, raising the risk for excoriation, skin breakdown, and infection.
Weight loss may mean that a senior citizen is not getting enough nutrition, has a medical problem, is suffering from depression, or is forgetting to eat. While appetite can diminish as people age, significant weight loss may indicate the need for an in-home companion to encourage your loved one to eat or to prepare nutritious meals. If the elderly person looks like he or she has lost weight, make an appointment with a doctor to determine the underlying cause of the weight loss.
If your loved one has poor hygiene, is incontinent, or is losing weight, make an appointment with the physician, and then consider the services of an in-home care provider. You will feel more comfortable knowing that your aging loved one is being monitored and cared for, and the senior citizen will appreciate the extra help and companionship that a home health care provider can offer.