Watch for the Signs; Care needs change when they pertain to a senior or loved one with physical challenges. Don’t become complacent, but observe for indications that it is time to reinforce or adapt caregivers to meet their evolving care needs. Ignoring signs or failure to adjust accordingly could result in an accident or injury that comes from seniors attempting to care for themselves and maintain autonomy.
Some signs that your loved one’s care needs are changing include:
Appearance or Behaviors
Does your loved one look different lately? If you notice changes in appearance or behavior, such as poor hygiene or mood fluctuation, this could be a sign of an unmet need. Some particular behaviors to watch for surround sleep and eating habits; if your loved one doesn’t seem to be eating well or is exhibiting difficulty completing their normal activities of daily living (ADLs), like dressing, they need some additional assistance.
Has your loved one suffered a recent fall? Even if they did not experience an injury, a fall is a predictor of future falls in many cases and could be cause for concern and more assistance. Falls lead to injuries, social withdrawal, and could even be the precipitant for illnesses and additional trauma. If someone you love has had a nasty spill, make sure they are okay by taking them to their primary care physician to be checked-out, just to be safe.
Are you noticing an increase in forgetfulness or memory lately? This could also be a reason to consider improving caregiving support. This may extend to difficulty handling finances, such as late bills, utility disconnections, or trouble balancing their checkbook, if this is something that your loved one has previously done with no trouble. Broaching the idea of assisting a senior with financial affairs may be a difficult conversation but reaffirm the need especially if the senior lives alone in their own home.
Motor vehicle accidents or tickets when driving are further signs that your loved one could use a caregiver to take them where they need to go. Many seniors don’t particularly enjoy driving, but it is a big element of freedom and independence. Don’t compromise their autonomy by refusing to let your loved one drive, but rather offer them the option of a driver to take them out and about.
Finally, social isolation and withdrawal are signs that your loved one needs help. They could be struggling with issues that keep them at-home, which could involve medical needs. Get to the root of the issue and offer caregiver support.
Fend-off these signs of changing needs by beefing-up their personal support. Talk to family about paid caregiving services through a reputable in-home care company that caters to elderly and disabled clients.
When you are ready to enlist the help of a licensed and established in-home healthcare company, call Caring Healthcare in Columbia, SC, working with clients since 1995. Prevent injuries and isolation with vested professionals that care about those they serve. This also ensures that family networks don’t experience burn-out and compassion fatigue trying to care for their loved one’s needs.