According to a recent study, senior citizens fear moving out of their homes and into a nursing home more than they fear death. The study, “Aging in Place in America,” also found that the adult children of seniors also fear for their parents. Specifically, they express concern about their parents entering a nursing home and suffering a decline in their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Another key finding of the study is that nearly 90% of seniors want to “age in place,” meaning to grow older without having to move from their homes. Sadly, more than half (53%) are not confident about their ability to accomplish this. Although seniors living at home are determined to maintain their independence and stay home, they report that they often do not receive the support they need from their children or other caregivers in order to accomplish this goal safely. In addition, our elder loved ones may hesitate to approach the subject of needing help, specifically because they fear losing independence and don’t want to be the cause of any stress for their adult children. For these reasons, it is important that you be on the lookout for signs, so you know the right time to provide your loved ones with a little extra attention from an agency specializing in elderly home care, like the Phoenix home care specialists at Nightingale Homecare.
If you notice any of the following signs with your loved one, it may be the time to consider home care:
- Changes in physical condition. Declining physical health can heighten the possibility of a senior experiencing a fall or suffering another type of injury. Watch for changes, including problems with walking, unsteadiness, or maintaining balance. If the older adult seems to be in a more fragile condition, it can become risky for him/her to perform even the most straightforward tasks.
- Decline in personal hygiene. Older adults who are inattentive to personal hygiene can display an unpleasant body odor, unclean or unkempt hair, oral care neglect or dirty clothes. Although the senior likely wants to be clean, it might be too challenging to take care of the tasks necessary. Engaging the services of a professional caregiver will help a senior safely stick to a routine hygiene schedule, and thus improve his/her overall health and wellbeing.
- Nutrition deficits. Your older loved one may be unable to prepare food because of reduced energy levels or other concerns. Going to the grocery store each week to buy fresh, healthy foods may also be difficult, so the refrigerator and pantry may not be stocked or there might be a number of items that are beyond their expiration date. This can result in a lack of nourishment as well as dehydration, which can then lead to cognitive deficits, depression, and other health problems. A professional in-home care agency can assist seniors with grocery shopping as well as meal preparation, along with a companion to share mealtimes with, making eating more pleasant.
- Medication mismanagement. Taking medications exactly as prescribed is vital for seniors to maintain health, especially when chronic or ongoing medical concerns are in place. Often, seniors are prescribed a variety of different meds with varying dose schedules. Prescriptions and doses can become confusing, which can result in missing or taking too much or too little medications. If this happens, dire health issues can result. Professional caregivers help seniors stays on track with following a prescribed medication schedule.
- Inattention to home management. Watch for red flags like piles of dirty dishes and laundry, trashcans that are overflowing, or appliances that have been left on. If the home environment is dirty and contains more clutter than the senior would typically allow, this points to the need for some extra help with managing the home. Home care professionals will ensure your loved one’s home is cleaned regularly and free of clutter.
For a trusted, professional partner in care to help your senior loved ones remain safe, comfortable, and healthy at home, contact Nightingale Homecare’s Phoenix home care experts any time at (602) 504-1555.
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