Watching a loved one age is rewarding and difficult. You want to honor this person’s dignity and independence. And yet, you also wish to help him or her with challenges encountered in daily life that are becoming difficult. When is the right time to step in? Should you wait and see if the senior asks for help? Or should you just dive in and provide all the support that your love wants you to give? Knowing when to step in and help can be hard to determine, especially when seniors try to protect their privacy and autonomy. It’s a tricky balance, for you wish to protect the senior’s safety and well-being, but our Elder Care – Geriatric Care Manager is just a phone call away. As age and chronic conditions advance, the senior becomes less able to handle the challenges of daily life. It’s good to be able to recognize the signs indicating when a senior needs assistance and the level of assistance that is required and desired so you can proceed in a loving manner.
Our Geriatric Care Manager and Elder Law Attorneys Can Help When a Senior Needs Home Care Assistance
Knowing when to step in is all about observation and preparation. Your own life is busy. You may reside far away from the senior. A watchful eye may be the answer. Even if you are close enough to stop by and visit the senior, you may need help determining when to get assistance and which type of assistance is advisable. Our elder law attorneys at the Northeast Connecticut Law Center have a Geriatric Care Manager on staff to handle such problems and advise about the best way forward. We want to give our clients and their relatives the best final years possible and help them live independently. We have a Geriatric Care Manager who helps families and friends of seniors prepare for and respond to the needs of aging adults. To learn more about our Elder Law – Geriatric Care Management Plan, connect with us by clicking here Contact Us. Fill out the form on our website and send it in. Or just call us at 860.928.2429.
Home Care Assistance Helps Seniors Age in Place and Remain Independent
Many seniors resist the idea of facilities for seniors such as retirement homes, assisted living communities, and nursing homes. They want to maintain their autonomy and independence as long as possible. After all, no one wants to feel old or be treated like an old person. However, there comes a time when seniors find themselves struggling to maintain the habits of daily life. When chronic conditions, mental health challenges, degenerative diseases, and advanced age make living independently difficult, home care assistance can be a mid-point that protects the senior’s independence, while getting the help needed to live independently.
Home care assistance generally falls into two categories, in-home medical assistance and in-home living assistance. Eventually, the senior will need both types of in-home services, but for budgetary purposes, it is advisable to retain the service required at the best price locally. This is just one reason why our Geriatric Care Manager is critical to our clients. It’s important to organize in-home services for immediate need with an eye on long-term demands. A program devised specifically for the senior allows you to tailor the services to meet the senior’s needs and add on services as needed over time.
How to Tell When a Senior Needs Home Care Assistance
Still, it can be difficult to know when to step in and suggest your loved one gets help. Here is a checklist of things to watch for to indicate when a senior needs home care assistance. Call our Geriatric Care Manager in Putnum Ct at 860.928.2429 to discuss your observations and concerns.
New Medical Conditions
When a senior receives a new diagnosis, contracts a disease, or suffers a fall or injury, it may be necessary to bring in short- or long-term home care assistance during treatment or recovery. Be sure to discuss the recovery process with the senior and, if possible, his or her doctor to understand what to expect.
Decreased Driving Ability
For many seniors, loss of vision, hearing, or reflexes can interfere with their ability to drive. This can cause a senior to feel trapped at home. If the senior does not recognize that changes are happening, such as loss of driving privileges, the senior could be putting himself or herself or others in danger. Ride with the senior driving from time to time, or follow the senior while driving, to see if she or he can still handle the car safely. If not, consider arranging for non-medical transportation services for things like medical and dental appointments, shopping, religious activities, social outings, etc.
Changes in Food or Eating Habits
There are many reasons why a senior may stop cooking. If you notice a weight loss or find expired or rotten food in the refrigerator, you may want to arrange for Meals on Wheels or another food delivery service to provide nutritious meals. Many new food delivery services are popping up, so check local listings.
Medication Management Trouble
The problems of aging are compounded by trouble managing medications. While many seniors can use alarms and pill-sorting systems to stay on top of their medications, others can be easily confused, miss scheduled doses, or accidentally double dose. That can create new, more serious health problems. Check the senior’s prescriptions. Look for the dates when prescriptions were filled, dosage, and amount left against the current date. Keep a list of all the medications and help the senior check progress as time goes by. You may want to bring in help for medication management or hire home caregivers about them.
As time goes by, seniors lose flexibility, have trouble with memory, and experience mood or behavioral problems. These often show up in the way seniors care for themselves. You may notice the senior has dirty, uncombed hair. Other signs include finger- and toenails in need of clipping. Towels and sheets may not be clean. Clothing choices may not suit the weather or the season or the senior may be wearing dirty clothes. If so, you may want to bring in home care assistance to help with bathing, dressing, hygiene, and laundry services.
Behavior and Mood
Seniors living at home often experience mood disorders and behavioral problems that can arise out of a loss of friends, family, and others such as a church group or other social outlets once enjoyed. Signs to look for are if the senior seems anxious, irritable, depressed, or is easily confused. Ask if the senior has been visited by, or spoken with, social connections and family members lately. This may signal that the senior needs a stronger social network to stimulate human and group interaction. Loneliness is a chronic concern that can be remedied.
Old age comes with aches, pains, physical weakness, and loss of mobility. When a loved one has trouble moving from place to place, it creates a greater risk of a slip or fall. Look for wear marks or gouges on walls or furniture. Watch to see if the senior has trouble getting into or out of a chair or bed. The senior may need physical assistance.
Seniors with memory problems, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental challenges often have trouble managing their bills and finances. This may look like piles of unopened mail. Also, seniors may fall victim to phone scams targeting seniors. He or she may lose track of money or start spending needlessly. In these cases, a relative or a hired assistant can shield the senior from trouble and loss, which lifts the burden from the senior and the shame of having made mistakes.
Personal Safety Problems
Some of the signs that help is needed come when a senior neglects his or her personal safety. Signs of this could be forgetting to turn off an appliance, not locking a door, and unexplained bruises or cuts on the senior. In these cases, home care assistance may be essential to protecting a loved one and keeping him or her safe.
Planning for Degenerating Conditions and Chronic Illness
Depending on a senior’s physical and mental state, even one of the above items may be enough to start the conversation about the need for home care assistance. However, when the signs of aging begin to add up, it may be time to a get a plan in place for what you and your senior want to happen.
Contact Our Senior Care – Geriatric Care Manager for Advice
At the Northeast Connecticut Law Center, our Geriatric Care Manager helps seniors and their families prepare for when age starts to take its toll. Our senior law attorneys can help you create a comprehensive plan for your loved one’s physical, mental, financial, and legal needs. We can provide ongoing support as that plan progresses, checking in with the senior and the family. Our senior Law attorneys and Geriatric Care Manager pairs legal and logistical expertise to provide a full suite of services to seniors and their families. Learn more about how our Senior Care – Geriatric Care Manager might help you achieve more peace of mind. Connect with us by clicking here Contact Us. Fill out the form on our website and send it in. Or just call us at 860.928.2429.