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:
- Physical Changes. A decline in physical health can increase the risk of your loved one falling or suffering other serious injury. Look for changes, such as difficulty walking, maintaining balance and unsteadiness. If your loved one appears to be in a frail condition, it can be dangerous for him or her to do even the simplest tasks.
- Inattention to Personal Hygiene. Those individuals who neglect personal hygiene may have a strong body odor, unkempt or unclean hair, obvious inattention to oral care or soiled clothing. While these elderly individuals would like to keep clean, it may have become too difficult to complete the daily tasks to do so. Having in-home care ensures that your loved one can safely maintain a regular hygiene schedule, which improves his or her health and wellbeing.
- Lack of Nourishment. Your loved one may have lost the ability to regularly prepare food at mealtimes due to lack of energy or other physical conditions. Getting to the grocery store weekly to purchase fresh, healthy foods can be a challenge, meaning the refrigerator and cupboards may not be stocked or there may be many items that have passed their expiration date. Not eating properly can lead to lack of nourishment and dehydration, which causes cognitive issues, depression and other health concerns. A home care agency will provide your loved one with help grocery shopping and preparing meals as well as providing a companion to sit down with at mealtimes, which may make eating more enjoyable.
- Inability to Manage Medications. Taking the prescribed dosage of medicine is essential to maintaining health, especially for elderly individuals, with chronic or ongoing medical issues. Many times, the elderly are prescribed a number of different medications with different dosage schedules. Prescriptions and dosages can easily become mixed up or forgotten, which can lead to missing or overdosing on medications. When this happens, severe health problems can occur. Professional home care can ensure that your loved one stays on his or her prescribed medication schedule.
- Lack of Attention to Household Upkeep. When visiting with your loved one, look for things such as stacks of dirty dishes and laundry, overflowing trashcans, and appliances that have been left turned on. If the living spaces are dirty and more cluttered than the person would normally allow, this is a sign that he or she needs some extra help keeping up with the demands of managing a home. Home care assistance will make sure that your loved one lives in a space that is regularly cleaned and clutter-free.
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.