At some point in your adult life, you may have to ask yourself whether you need home care for the elderly for your mother or father. It’s not a question that anyone really wants to ask, for a variety of reasons, but it’s one that, if your parent is having trouble taking care of himself or herself, for whatever reason, that you need to ask.
There are a few things that could indicate that elder care is required. The first is that your mother or father is unable to take care of himself or herself as well as they used to. While they may not have many problems, even the smallest issues can become significant dilemmas over time.
You may have noticed the subtle signs for a while, but passed them off as being minor, or even irrelevant at the time. They missed an appointment, they forgot that you were coming over, or they neglected to take their medication once or twice. While these are signs that even people our own age could exhibit, for the elderly, they can indicate a significant problem with their memory and, more importantly, their ability to take care of themselves.
Can you offer them reminders for these things? Keeping track of appointments for someone else can actually be simple, but will that help the situation? You could certainly call and make sure that they take their medication or to remind them that you’re stopping by. But what about when you’re not there?
Will they leave the stove on? Could they have the iron out and forget about it while they go to another room and do something? Are they able to do the laundry or bathe without any problems?
You can actually determine these things fairly easily without having to resort to gulag style interrogation techniques. You would likely already have a pretty good indication about your parent’s health, so you will know whether they are physically able to take care of themselves, at least for now.
For the rest, pay attention to the subtle clues. Check with their neighbors to find out if the smoke detectors go off on a regular basis. This could indicate that they are burning meals. Pay attention to their hygiene. Do they look clean and healthy? Or does it seem as though they’re not taking care of themselves like they used to?
Visit their laundry room once a week. Are the same clothes lying there, dirty, as the week before? This could indicate that they are having trouble taking care of themselves. These signs could highlight that it’s time to consider home care for the elderly.
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