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Holiday Family Visit Reveals a Need for Home Care

Holiday Family Visit Reveals a Need for Home Care

When you live far away from your family, holidays may be the only opportunity you have to visit them in person.  If some of your relatives are seniors, you may also be interested in checking on their health and ensuring their day-to-day needs are being met. This article will discuss a very important topic of a holiday family visit reveals a need for home care

This article will help you understand some of the warning signs that indicate a senior is struggling to take care of themselves.  Then, we’ll discuss what can be done to help them remain comfortable in their own home.  Once you read these simple tips, you will be able to make sure your loved ones are healthy, happy, and safe.

How to tell if a loved one is struggling to look after themselves

There are certain warning signs that indicate a senior is having trouble looking after themselves, including:

They have suddenly lost weight

Sudden weight loss is one of the most common signs of ill health or other problems around the home.  The cause of the sudden weight loss is often an undiagnosed health condition like dementia, heart failure, cancer or depression.  It could also be caused because they no longer have the energy to prepare healthy and nutritious meals.  Instead, they may be resorting to eating low quality convenience foods.

Your loved one might be struggling to read the labels on cans and can no longer prepare the meals they used to enjoy.  Perhaps arthritis is making cooking a painful process or they can no longer handle knives safely.  If you notice weight loss, talk to your family to determine if they realize it has occurred and consider discussing it with their doctor

Their home has become untidy

If you notice your loved ones’ home has suddenly become quite disorganized, it can indicate a problem.  They may be struggling with the physical demands of maintaining their home or an illness is preventing them from cleaning it.  Look for dirty dishes in the sink, dust on the window sills, a poorly stocked refrigerator, and excess clutter or rubbish lying around the home.

You notice they are struggling to walk or balance

Pay close attention to the way that your loved one is moving around their home.  Are they walking comfortably or are they constantly grabbing objects to help them move between rooms?  Can they easily get into and out of a chair?

If you notice they are struggling, it may be a result of joint problems or a serious medical condition like Parkinson’s disease.  They may have an increased risk of falling if they do not receive some medical attention and help around the home.  Their home may have to be modified to help them move around safely.

They seem a bit sad, anxious or lonely

Depression and other mental health conditions are quite common in seniors.  When you talk to your elder loved ones, ask them about their emotional well-being.  It is much easier to assess how someone is feeling when you are face-to-face with them.

Also, make an effort to look for symptoms of common mental illnesses.  The common signs of depression include a withdrawal from social activities, insomnia or over-sleeping, and a decline in their level of personal hygiene.

They don’t appear to be looking after their appearance or personal hygiene

Simple tasks like bathing or changing their clothes can become difficult for seniors.  Look for signs that they are struggling with these activities.  They may have strong body odor, unkempt hair, long nails, dirty clothing, or bad breath.

Missing important appointments

If you discover that your elder family member has not been attending doctor’s appointments or social engagements, that is an indication they are struggling in the home.  They may find driving or taking public transport difficult, which prevents them from getting to their appointments.  They may be struggling with personal hygiene and are too embarrassed to leave the house.  Ask your loved one about recent doctor’s appointments and make sure their medications are up to date.

Options for helping your loved one

If you believe they are struggling to look after themselves; there are a few steps you can take:

  • Discuss how well they are coping
    It is important to have an open and frank discussion with your elder family member about the reasons why they are struggling around the home. Ask them about their health and any concerns they may have with their current living arrangements.  Make them aware of the reasons why you are worried.
  • Identify resources that may be of use
    Some government agencies and volunteer organizations may be able to help your family. The services these organizations provide range from assistance with transportation to having a person check in on them once every couple of weeks.
  • Ask friends and family members if they can help
    If there are friends and family members who live close to your loved one, ask them if they can help.
  • Prepare of list of the things you can do to improve their conditions
    Create a list of the ways that you can improve the living conditions of your elder family member when you see them. Clean their home, do some shopping, and buy them some new clothes.
  • Consider home care
    Home care involves a highly trained professional Caregivers looking after your loved one in their home. Caregivers can help your relative by preparing their meals, bathing and hygiene, driving them to appointments, cleaning their home and much more. 

How Adult Home Health Care Can Help

All Heart Home Care is the leading provider of home care services in San Diego.  Our talented Caregivers can make your beloved family feel safe and comfortable in their home.  Some of the services we provide include:

  • Meal preparation and cleanup in their home
  • Assistance with bathing, personal hygiene tasks, and getting dressed
  • Medication reminders
  • Laundry services
  • Picking up medications from their pharmacy
  • Domestic cleaning including vacuuming, dusting, mopping and washing dishes
  • Providing companionship for your loved one
  • Help sorting and reading mail and paying bills
  • Help with errands and grocery shopping
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments and social engagements

If you are interested in learning more about a holiday family visit reveals a need for home care and All Heart Home Care’s non-medical home care services, contact us today at 619-736-4677 for a free in-home consultation.  We will discuss your parent’s capabilities and determine which services they may require.

Eric Barth
Eric Barth
CEO and blogger for All Heart Home Care. I devote myself to helping seniors age in their own home while maintaining a feeling of independence, preserve their dignity, and enhance the quality of their life. I write these blogs to help educate the public on issues surrounding what seniors find to be the most important. My blogs are from my own personal research. I hope you enjoy my blog posts.

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