For those aged 65+, an independent lifestyle is a key determinant for ensuring a higher quality of life. But as the average person ages, their body undergoes physical, emotional, and mental changes that make living on their own more challenging. At some point, most seniors require at least some outside assistance to remain independent. For that aging-in-place loved one in your life, here are five classic signs to watch for when determining if it’s time to discuss the topic of home care.
The Inevitable Effects of Aging
No matter how well a person takes care of themselves, age-related changes are inevitable. As a result, older adults typically face these health and wellness challenges:
- Changes to hearing and eyesight
- Decreased flexibility, agility, and mobility
- Weakened immune system
- Social isolation
- Less physical and mental endurance
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis
Once a senior is no longer able to perform one or more activities of daily living (ADLs), it places their health, wellbeing, and independence at risk.
Why Aging in Place is Better
Seniors who live independently typically reap these benefits as a result:
- More comfortable and private than other living arrangements
- Costs less than an assisted living facility or nursing home
- Helps prevent or slow the progression of memory loss
- Strengthens social networks
- Gives them more control over life decisions
Watch for These Age-Related Changes
If you are concerned that your loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves without some home care assistance, look for these five telltale signs:
Changes in appearance
Rapid weight loss or gain, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs
that your loved one may need help. Cognitive red flags like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could be signaling the onset of dementia.
If limited mobility is affecting your senior, volunteer to assist them around the house by preparing meals, doing yard work, cleaning up, etc. If you suspect that your loved one has cognitive impairment, schedule them a doctor’s appointment so they can be evaluated further.
Depression, anxiety, and dementia keep many older adults from socializing as they should. On the other hand, seniors that stay socially engaged tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who are lonely and depressed.
Encourage your loved ones to participate in activities they enjoy. Show them how to use the latest technologies, like video chats and social media, to stay in reconnect with old friends- or make new ones. Sometimes all it takes is an old-fashioned phone call from you to bring a smile to your loved one’s face!
Driving safety issues
If your loved one has recently received several tickets or been involved in multiple fender-benders, you should probably speak to them about driving safety. Suspicious dents and scrapes on their vehicle could also be a sign that it’s time to turn over the car keys for good. After respectfully sharing your concerns with them, discuss reliable transportation alternatives.
Fall-related injuries and fractures send millions of independent seniors to hospital emergency
departments every year. If your loved one has fallen several times within the past year, they may need some in-home assistance. Once you have their permission, do a home safety assessment and make any necessary modifications based on what you’ve learned.
Poor money management
Stacks of past-due bills may be a sign that your senior is having trouble managing their finances. Offer to become a custodian on their bank and credit card accounts, which will also help protect them from financial scammers. If they haven’t already done so, encourage your loved one to prepare a will and to choose someone as their durable power-of-attorney (POA).
Your Family Trusted Senior Home Care Provider in Virginia
Caring for an aging-in-place loved one can be difficult when you’re busy or live far away. At AmeriCare Plus, we are a family-owned senior care business that’s been assisting clients and their families in Virginia for over 26 years now. Spearheaded by Team Teal, we offer our clients care, compassion, and security in the comfort of their own homes.
As licensed home care providers, our highly trained professionals can deliver in-home care services that include respite care, hourly personal care, live-in companion care, bed and bath assistance, holiday assistance, and even pet assistance. With 10 convenient locations across Virginia, we are one big family taking care of your family! To learn more about AmeriCare Plus now or schedule an initial consultation for a senior in our service area, please visit us today at www.americarepluspc.com.