7 Signs Your Loved One May Need Home Care
By: Connor Kunz | Resources

Do you have aging parents who are becoming less independent? It’s natural to become more dependent on others as we get older, but it’s often difficult to know when this reaches a point that it may be time to bring in outside help to give care. Because of this, it’s important to watch for the right signs.

Typically, the most obvious signs occur as changes in your loved one’s appearance, lifestyle, health, or habits. To make it easier to identify changes, we’ve split this guideline into seven specifics that you can watch out for. If you notice change in one of these areas, you should investigate it immediately and discuss it with others. If you notice change in more than one of these areas, this is a very strong indicator that they may need home care.

Sign #1: A messy or disorganized home.

Whether they’re leaving things out, failing to keep up on small tasks, or not keeping things clean like they used to, this is a strong sign that they’re losing energy or ability to look after themselves to the degree that they used to.

Sign #2: Increased forgetfulness

This may include missing appointments, forgetting where they put things, or forgetting details about family members. It may even take the form of missing medication, which can have very harmful effects on other areas of their health and well-being. Everyone forgets things, but you should be concerned if you see a pattern of forgetfulness that wasn’t there before.

Sign #3: Changes in appearance

Do they appear more tired? Are there changes in their skin tone? Have they experienced sudden weight gains or losses? All of these could indicate sudden changes in their diet, personal upkeep, or health that show they have increased need for care and stability in their life.

If their appearance seems to hint a lack of nutrition or the appearance of new health problems, it’s important to get them to a professional immediately. This is not only an indicator that may need increased care, but a strong reason in and of itself to get them care.

Sign #4: Difficulty moving—sitting/standing

It’s natural for mobility to become more difficult as we age; however, you should still keep a close eye on this. If you notice your loved one struggling to get around their house in ways that used to be easy for them, you should take steps to evaluate what can be done to preserve their independence.

Sign #5: Poor hygiene

Like a lack of nutrition, poor hygiene is not just an indicator—it’s a strong need for them to get help. If their hygiene is slipping due to forgetfulness, lack of energy, or an overall inability to care for themselves as well as before, it’s likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problems they’re dealing with.

Sign #6: Falls or accidents

Your loved one’s safety is paramount. If they’re unable to get around safely, it’s time to get them help. This applies just as strongly if they’re able to get around fine on their feet but are unable to drive safely.

Sign #7: Changes in general mood or personality

Changes in daily behavior are a major indicator that their mental or emotional health is off. Do they not enjoy things that they used to? Are they prone to mood swings? Do they deliberately isolate themselves socially by avoiding friends or family? All of these may indicate that they need greater stability or support in their daily life.

Start the Conversation and Find the Right Care

If your loved one exhibits signs that their ability to take care of themselves is decreasing, don’t wait to talk about it until it becomes a bigger problem. Start the conversation now. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re looking into getting home care for a loved one, you’ll find the services listed on agency profile pages will be helpful you. Each profile provides a detailed listed of the services provided by that agency. Use this to match the needs of your loved one with the agency best suited to assist.

Questions, comments, or experiences? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

About the Author - Connor Kunz
Connor Kunz
A writer, communicator, and people enthusiast, Connor's lifelong affinity for words dates back to kindergarten, when he dictated rather odd stories about talking animals for his older siblings to write down and illustrate. Today, Connor is grateful for the opportunity to use his skills to advance services that improve lives. When he's not working, you can find Connor hiking in a national park with his wife. 
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