Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Extra Help

As your loved one ages, they will eventually lose some of their independence. They will no longer be able to handle certain tasks by themselves, and may need some extra help around the house. The sooner you notice signs that your loved one needs help, the less likely it is that they will have a fall or injury or experience depression or isolation. Here are some of the signs that your elderly loved one may need in-home care or assisted living services in Southern Arizona.

Frequent Falls or Unexplained Injuries

The elderly lose muscle tone and bone strength as they age. Their mobility may suffer, and certain health conditions may increase their risk of confusion, poor vision, and trips and falls. If your loved one has fallen in their home or while outside more than once, or if they frequently have injuries they cannot explain, they likely need some extra help in their home.

If your loved one has fallen once, they are much more likely to fall again. It will be harder for them to recover from their injuries each time, especially if they need surgery or a hospital stay. You can reduce their risk of falls and injuries by hiring an in-home caregiver, helping them around the house, or scheduling a home safety evaluation.

Messy Appearance or Poor Personal Hygiene

A messy appearance or poor personal hygiene could be a sign of cognitive decline or a decline in physical abilities. If your loved one is in pain or has a hard time bending over and getting in and out of bed or to and from the toilet, their personal hygiene and appearance will suffer. You can help by assisting them with daily living tasks or hiring a senior care specialist to help out in the home. You can also do household chores for them like laundry and washing dishes.

Neglected Pets or Houseplants

Another sign of poor mobility or mental health decline is pets or houseplants that are neglected. If your loved one is having trouble taking care of themselves, they are also probably having trouble taking care of pets or houseplants. If you notice that your loved one’s houseplants are dead or their pet seems neglected, it’s time to intervene. You can help your loved one explore their options for aging in place, or begin the conversation about assisted living services.

Their Home Is in Disarray

If your loved one’s home is messy, unclean, and cluttered, it may also be unsafe. Your loved one is more likely to fall if their home is cluttered and messy or if the flooring, lighting, and other parts of the home are unsafe.

You can schedule an in-home safety evaluation or explore other options for improving the safety of your loved one’s home. You can hire a part-time housekeeper, or ask friends and family to help out with certain household chores. You should also explore safety upgrades, like installing better lighting, repairing flooring, installing grab bars, and more.

You Have Concerns for Their Physical or Mental Health

Isolation, depression, and mental health issues are just as dangerous to the elderly as physical health problems. You can help your loved one avoid some of these problems by making sure they have companionship and conversation, are engaged in the world around them, can participate in hobbies or activities they enjoy, and have transportation to and from medical appointments.

If you have concerns about your loved one’s physical or mental health, make an appointment with their physician or a social worker for an evaluation. Your loved one may need more help than you and your family can provide on your own.

Their Spouse, Partner, or Pet Has Died

A death in the family can significantly affect your loved one’s physical and mental health. If their spouse, partner, pet, or another friend or family member has died, check in with your loved one frequently and see how they are doing. Consider making an appointment with their physician or a spiritual leader like their priest, pastor, rabbi, or a counselor. If your loved one’s mental health declines, their physical health may also decline. Do what you can to make sure your loved one doesn’t feel alone and they know that they have your love and support as they grieve.

They Don’t Have a Lot of Friends

If your loved one doesn’t have many friends in the area, they may be in danger of isolation or depression. You can help by arranging visits with friends, either online or in-person. You can also visit your loved one regularly and arrange visits with family members. This will help your loved one get companionship and conversation, and let them know that they are loved and have people in their life who care about them. 

They Can No Longer Drive

Once your loved one can no longer drive, fears about being cut off from the world might start to materialize. If your loved one is worried about not having independence or not being able to participate in the hobbies and activities they enjoy, you can help. Offer to drive them to and from social engagements and appointments. You can also hire an in-home caregiver to provide companionship and transportation.

Forgetfulness or Memory Problems

If your loved one has started showing signs of forgetfulness and memory problems, they may need specialized care and attention. Schedule an appointment with their physician for an evaluation, and discuss the possibility of dementia care services or Alzheimer’s care services. If your loved one doesn’t get the healthcare they need, they might be in danger of injuring themselves, wandering off, or becoming ill.

They Aren’t Taking Medication Properly

Elderly people are at risk of not remembering to take medication, taking double doses of medication by accident, or combining medications that are dangerous. If you suspect that your loved one isn’t taking their medication properly, make an appointment with their physician. You may need to consider assisted living or nursing care services, or hiring an in-home caregiver who can assist with medication management. 

Find Assisted Living and In-Home Care Resources for Your Loved One

If your loved one needs more care than you can provide on your own, our team at Placita In Home Care can help. We specialize in professional, compassionate in-home care services in Southern Arizona. Our caregivers are highly trained, experienced, and compassionate.

We offer assistance with the tasks of daily living, including bathing, toileting, dressing, personal grooming, meal preparation, and medication management. We also provide companionship and socialization, transportation to medical appointments and social engagements, and light housework.

If your loved one is ready to transition into an assisted living facility, we offer free assisted living placement services. We also offer home safety assessments, memory care, and Alzheimer’s care services. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about our in-home care services or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.