Many adults wonder when it’s time to find in-home care for a loved one. If you find yourself stopping over more often to check on your aging parents or other family members, now may be the time to look at senior home care options.
During National Home Care and Family Caregivers Month, we want to recognize the more than 50 million family caregivers across America, according to AARP. Family caregivers investing their time is admirable and fulfilling. As your parents cared for and supported you, you’re now returning the love you’ve received over the years. Eventually, you might begin to feel stress and frustration as you’re spending more time with them while the rest of your life feels out of balance. Sadly, your loved one is probably also feeling the strain as they worry about their inability to live independently.
If you notice that mom, dad or another at-risk family member requires more support than you can provide, what do you do?
Signs It Might Be Time To Consider Senior Home Care & Caregiver Services
When your loved one’s needs have extended beyond a little bit of extra support, it’s a good time to consider in-home care. Here are some specific signs to look for as family caregivers:
They Need Help with Personal Hygiene
If you’re noticing a change in your loved one’s dressing or bathing habits, it could be an early sign of a decline in their health, particularly for those with dementia.
They’re Not Safe on Their Own
Potential safety issues are another warning sign it’s time to consider senior home care. Situations like multiple slips and falls, worsening health conditions, chronic forgetfulness or not eating regularly can be red flags that professional care is needed.
They’re Missing Doctor’s Appointments
With age, comes more visits to the doctor. If, however, your loved one is missing appointments because it’s not safe for them to drive, then consider an in-home care professional to help with transportation.
They’re Bored and Lonely
Chronic isolation has a negative impact on physical, emotional and mental health. If you struggle to carve out enough time in your day to keep your loved one engaged and in good company, it’s time to consider an in-home caregiver. Companion care can include visiting with your loved one, playing games or cards and having a meal together.
You’re Seeing Changes in Their Personality
If a loved one is acting differently or seems “off,” it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. You might start to notice it in the form of erratic behavior, withdrawal from social conversation or trouble with basic housekeeping and maintenance.
You Can’t Keep Up
There are only so many hours in each day. Family caregivers have so much to balance. It’s hard to keep up with your own family and home, as well as your loved one’s. If it’s becoming increasingly difficult and exhausting to keep up with, consider hiring senior home care.
Factors To Consider When Looking For A Home Care Agency
Caring for the people you love can be an honor, but it can quickly become an overwhelming task, too. It’s natural to want your loved ones to have the best possible care and passing that responsibility to someone else can involve some hard decisions.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while researching care for your parents:
Assess their current needs
The first step to keep in mind is what your parents need physically and mentally. It’s not uncommon for seniors to require a little extra assistance for day-to-day tasks, but are they struggling more with a specific task? What about their mental health? Do you find your parent is becoming forgetful, or maybe even lonely?
There are multiple caregiving options available (personal care, memory care, companion care, travel care), so it’s important to take note of your parent’s needs before choosing a home care service.
Look for an extraordinary caregiver
It can be difficult to accept the fact that you need to find extra care for your parents because you can’t do it all yourself. While researching care for your parents, take time to look for a caregiver who is patient, compassionate, detail-oriented and present.
How To Talk To Your Parents About Home Care
Because this is National Home Care and Family Caregivers Month, we want to highlight useful tips to help you to start the home care conversation with your loved ones:
Do not wait for a crisis to start the conversation.
Start talking about home care solutions now so that you can ask your loved one how they would like to address the issue when the time comes.
Address your concerns.
Be open and honest with your feelings and the challenges you have juggling your home life, career and their care. According to a recent study by Genworth, 55 percent of Americans say being a burden on their family is their biggest concern regarding long-term care issues. Take this into consideration when approaching your parent about accepting in-home help.
Change is scary. When talking with your parents, try to understand how they could be feeling. It is important to realize that this change may feel like they are losing control of their independence. By showing empathy and listening to them, it will allow for a conversation to occur where you can discuss alternatives that help them retain what control they have left.
Focus on the advantages and benefits.
Any conversation you have about caregiving should focus on why home care is a good thing. Instead of concentrating on why your loved one needs assistance, point out the benefits of having a caregiver there to support their personal needs and care.
Explore home care options together.
Include your aging parents in the process of finding the best solutions for them. Allow them to be a part of the decision-making process. Let them look at the options and even meet with the home care company prior to making any final decisions.
Test the waters.
Try hiring an outside caregiver for in-home help on a short-term basis for your respite care. This provides an opportunity to show your parents that having a caregiver is not something to fear and often leads to them being open to receiving ongoing care.
FirstLight Home Care – Senior Home Caregiver Services
Out of the 50 million family caregivers in America, almost half are adult children helping their parents. While reflecting on National Family Caregivers Month, you may find this as good time to weigh your home care options. When you’re ready to talk with your elderly parents or family members about the benefits of in-home support, FirstLight Home Care is here to support you. We will work with you to create a caregiving partnership that is built on trust, communication and a special understanding of your family’s needs.
Wondering how to find the right in-home care company? Simply contact FirstLight® Home Care to find a local caregiver near you.