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:
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:
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.