As your parents grow older, it’s normal to wonder about their health and safety, and you may begin to consider home health care or in-home non-medical care. If you live nearby, you can often monitor them more closely, but if you live far away, it’s easy to begin to worry. Either way, you will want to know what signs to watch for that will let you know it’s time to consider home health care options for your aging parent.
Physical Signs That Home Care is Needed
If your parent is beginning to struggle in physical ways, in-home non-medical care can be a great option to make sure their needs are taken care of, and someone is checking in on them. As you keep in touch with your parents, make sure you pay attention to anything they say about physical pains, problems, or injuries. Keep a special watch for these signs:
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Changes in sleep patterns or problems sleeping
- Lower standards of personal hygiene than normal
If you notice these signs, there’s a good chance that part-time in home non-medical care is a service that your parent needs and would benefit from. However, if the symptoms are due to a health related issue, your parent may qualify for home health care.
Emotional and Mental Signs That Home Health Care is Needed
Beyond the physical issues that aging and illness can bring, there are emotional and mental signs that home health care would benefit your parent. Unfortunately, some of these are indicators of Alzheimer’s, but others could simply be an indication that non-medical home care is needed for companionship or help with errands. Keep an eye out for these signs:
- Outbursts of anger or other strong emotion
- Isolation from friends and activities your parent used to enjoy
- Moods swings
- Confusion or imagination/hallucination
- Forgetfulness or unusual repetition of facts or phrases. If you notice these behaviors or activities, you’ll want to discuss them with your doctor and ask if home care is an option to take care of medical necessities.
Environmental Signs That Home Care is Needed
Finally, there are signs in your parent’s environment that will help you realize when home care needs to be considered. If you notice any of the following factors when visiting your parent, you will want to begin considering whether home health care or in-home non-medical care is necessary:
- Poor cleanliness in the home, especially from someone who previously kept the home very clean
- Poor yard hygiene – overgrown grass or bushes, fallen branches not attended to, or a previously planted garden is overgrown
- Hoarding behaviors
- Improper use of appliances
- Failure to complete common household tasks
If you notice indicators in any or all of these categories that tell you your parent needs additional help, it’s time to intervene. Delays in taking action can put your parent at risk both physically and mentally.
First, talk to your parent’s doctor to get a better understanding of what medical problems there are, and then consider your home health care options. If there isn’t a medical reason for home health care, you can consider in-home non-medical care.
When it comes time to review home health care options for your parent, Team Select Home Care is here to help. Contact us to learn more about when home health care is appropriate, and to determine what types of care your parent might need. Contact the Team Select location nearest you today!