Female provides assistance  to elderly woman with cane outside.

In-Home Care: When It's Time to Find Help

Last updated on February 15, 2022

At some point in life, you may be faced with the challenge of providing care for a parent, spouse, or close friend. The active, self-sufficient person you knew for many years may slowly begin requiring additional help.

Perhaps it begins with some mobility issues that make grocery shopping an effort. Often changes happen gradually making it difficult to discern when and how much help they need.

How do you know when the time is right to engage in-home care?

The Signs Your Loved One May Need In-Home Care

The best way to discover that changes are happening is by getting some perspective. It’s best to rely on the person closest to them to provide much-needed and personal insight. You’ll also want the opinion of someone who has not seen your loved one in a while. Both vantage points will provide valuable assessments.

Additionally, consider these warning signs that could indicate a change in your loved one’s physical and even mental status:

  • Wearing the same soiled clothes on consecutive days
  • Bills that were once paid in a timely fashion go unopened
  • Decline in personal grooming habits
  • Home is no longer as clean and tidy as it once was
  • Forgetfulness about medications
  • Clutter from newspapers and other items create unsafe obstacles
  • An empty refrigerator and inconsistent meals
  • A once vivacious person becomes less outgoing
  • Bruises from a fall or from bumping into a piece of furniture
  • Weight loss

The signs may be subtle at first but can develop into the inability to manage once familiar tasks.

Unfortunately, as many seniors begin to realize their newly found limitations, they can become depressed and start to isolate themselves. Living a long life is a blessing, but it can be challenging for some to adjust.

How to Get the In-Home Care Help You Need

For many families, a discussion about getting home care services can be a challenging series of conversations. Your best ally is your tone. Condescending or authoritative attitudes can put a senior on the defense. As adults, this is a problem to solve together.

Start by telling them you want to share some things that are on your mind and then gently phrase your observations. You should also ask them if they see the same things. If they do, then you can ask their opinion about a solution. If they don’t see what you’re seeing, then you will have to detail some specific examples. Following up those examples with what you find concerning can help them understand your worries are rooted in your love for them.

Proceed cautiously as they may immediately think you are going to “put them away” in a nursing home. You can instead share with them that in-home care will offer the best of both worlds. They’ll be able to remain happily and safely in their own home with a little assistance from a trusted resource, like Visiting Angels®.

You can also let them know that having a kind, in-home caregiver to assist with some tasks of daily living will give both of you more time to do other things together. It will, therefore, serve as a mutually beneficial decision.

Ideally, you will come to a conclusion together, without having to defer to someone outside the family, like a physician. If need be, before the next appointment, leave a message for the doctor saying you would like to ask specific questions based on your concerns. You’ll want to tread lightly here as you don’t want your loved one to feel everyone is conspiring against them. Emphasize that all you want is for them to be safe and happy and to live their best life.

At Visiting Angels, we offer a complimentary in-home care consultation. During that meeting, we are happy to discuss how we can support your loved one, so they retain their dignity and autonomy.
Some of the questions to consider before the in-home consultation include:

  • What type of care is needed?
  • Is the need long term or just help while recovering from an injury or hospital stay?
  • Do they need medical care or help with everyday errands, hygiene and home care issues? 

You should also be prepared to review medication schedules, interactions, daily routines, and appointments.

Whether this is a decision that must be made urgently or if you are planning ahead, you can rely on Visiting Angels for compassionate, in-home care. Our family is here to help yours.

If you're interested in our compassionate home care services for you or a loved one, contact your nearest Visiting Angels home care agency today or call 800-365-4189.
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