Many of of elderly loved ones could use help but may not be willing to tell you they need assistance. Everyone wants to be independent and it can be hard to admit a new reality. Since your loved one may not tell you they’re starting to struggle with daily tasks, it’s up to you to notice the signs on your own.
If you notice any of the below signs it may be time for your loved one to have some help by way of a caregiver.
1. Difficulty with Self-Care Tasks
Is your loved one having trouble with basic self-care tasks? These tasks are usually learned during childhood, so losing the ability to perform them could be a sign of trouble. Basic self-care tasks include things like grooming, eating, bathing, and getting dressed.
Pay attention to their appearance. If they have always been well dressed, but have now traded in their well-ironed shirts and pants for rumpled pajamas, they may not be able to iron clothes or manage buttons anymore. If they’ve bathed every day, but now have noticeable body odour, they may not feel safe getting in and out of the tub. If they’re looking much slimmer than normal, they may not be able to feed themselves adequately.
Caregivers can help your loved one with their self-care tasks. Caregivers can help your them iron their clothes, get dressed, or get in and out of the bath tub. They can offer assistance with meal planning, diet monitoring, and meal preparation to make sure your parents are getting the nutrition they need.
2. Housekeeping Is Suddenly Lax
A change in the state of one's home or yard can be another sign they may be in need of help.
Lax housekeeping could signify they aren’t able to look after their home on their own. Housekeeping tasks require strength, good balance, flexibility, and motivation. If they're declining in any of those areas, it will be apparent around their home and yard.
Keep an eye out for unusual messes indoors. If you see spills that haven’t been cleaned up, piles of dishes in the sink, lots of clutter, or piles of dirty laundry on the floor, they may no longer be able to do such tasks. Outdoors, you may see dead plants, weeds, or overgrown grass.
Caregivers can help with the housekeeping tasks that your parents are no longer able to do. This can include light housekeeping tasks like doing the laundry, ironing clothes, doing the dishes, or vacuuming. It can also include help with outdoor hobbies, like gardening.
3. Lost Their Social Connections
Are your loved ones' spending most of their time alone? If they’ve always been social, this is a concerning development.
Not spending time with friends or family, giving up on social clubs or sports clubs, and not leaving the house are all warning signs they may need a caregiver.
There's may reasons why social habits would change. If they’re struggling with self-care tasks, they may feel embarrassed to see their friends. If they’re falling behind on their housework, they may not want to invite anyone over for a visit. If they’re experiencing issues with walking, or getting in and out of a car, they may not be physically able to get out of the house to participate in get-togethers.
Caregivers can help your loved one maintain their social lives.
Help with self-care or housekeeping tasks may be all that’s needed to help.
Caregivers can help them get in and out of cars, or arrange for transportation, so they can see their friends more easily and can also be a source of companionship and conversation.