When to Seek Care for an Elderly Loved One

It can be difficult to properly care for an elderly loved one. As we get older, we all need a helping hand with things that would have been easy in our younger days. Perhaps you’re finding yourself worrying more about your elderly parent or an elderly neighbor.

If this is the case, you could be wondering whether additional help and care are needed to ensure your loved one’s health and safety. Here are some signs that its time to think about assisted living.

1. Are There Dents or Scratches on the Car?

Everyone likes to keep their independence for as long as possible. However, the time may have come where your elderly loved one needs some help grocery shopping or visiting the doctor.

Keep an eye out for dents and scratches on his or her car. This could indicate they are having difficulty driving or parking and could be damaging other cars at the same time.

It can be extremely difficult to discuss taking away your loved one’s car keys but you could be protecting their life and the lives of others. Sit down with them and try to approach the subject in a sensitive way.

2. Hygiene Issues

If your once impeccably turned out grandmother is now neglecting her hairstyle or not bothering to use makeup, it could mean she needs assistance. It could be that she is forgetting to shower every morning or she’s having difficulty completing simple tasks.

You should also look out for a reduction in weight as this can indicate serious health issues. It’s not always easy to be there with your loved one when they need you. Assisted living is a good way to make sure your loved one is provided with the best care and simple tasks like washing and eating aren’t overlooked.

3. Scrapes and Bruises

If you notice scrapes and bruises on your loved one, it could mean that they’ve fallen when you weren’t around. It’s common for elderly people to get out of bed during the night and trip or fall.

However, your loved one may not be forthcoming with the information, in an effort to stop you from worrying. It may take a while before you realize they are having falls.

When you do come to that conclusion, it’s important to put preventatives in place. Handrails and walking sticks are excellent aids for elderly people, to ensure they don’t fall easily.

Living in an assisted complex would mean your elderly loved one can call for someone if a fall did occur. Falls are the leading cause of death among people over the age of 65, so the sooner someone gets to your loved one, the better.

4. Unusual Irritability

A certain amount of irritability can be expected from an elderly loved one. After all, it can be frustrating to lose your independence and be trapped indoors for large amounts of time.

The problem occurs when a usually positive and upbeat character starts to become irritable, rude and even aggressive. Aggression can be one of the first significant signs of dementia.

Aggression can be difficult to deal with and caregivers may find themselves feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This type of situation isn’t healthy for anyone. Getting help from a professional who has experience dealing with elderly people with dementia will be of great value to the whole family.

5. An Unclean Home

Have you noticed that the house hasn’t been vacuumed in a while? Perhaps the floors haven’t been mopped or the dishes aren’t done. Many family members would be quick to help out without thinking about the root of the problem.

Is your loved one having difficulty completing these tasks? Perhaps their mood has become suddenly very low. If your loved one is usually one to keep a clean and organized home, there may be something deeper than laziness going on.

This could be the first signs of your loved one developing a need that must to be addressed. If you aren’t able to do these tasks every day for your loved one, you’ll need some help.

Don’t Wait

Many elderly people cling onto their independence for as long as they can, and rightly so. However, if you wait for your elderly loved one to give you the green light on getting help, you could be waiting for a long time.

No one likes to admit that they need help and it can be difficult to reverse the roles and make the decision for an elderly parent. Parents aren’t often ready to hand over that power to their children, which can make them stubborn during decision-making processes.

The problem is, if you leave making these decisions until the last minute, you risk the health and safety of your loved ones. Unfortunately, you need to base your decisions on the evidence before you, rather than what your loved one is telling you to do.

How to Care for an Elderly Loved One

The truth is, caring for an elderly loved one comes with an array of different challenges. You may feel emotionally tormented at times and physically drained at others. Many caregivers also have their own families to take care of, along with full-time jobs.

You should never feel guilty about considering assisted living if you know it’s best for you and your loved one. It could make all the difference for your relationship together. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about assisted care and put your mind at rest.

The team at Care Partners is here to offer our support and help you make the best decisions for you and your loved one. Contact us for a complimentary assessment.