How to Recognize Signs It's Time for Home Care

It’s no secret that those who are aging or have severe health issues would prefer to remain in their own home rather than in a clinical facility or hospital. In addition to the emotional benefits associated with a sense of independence, freedom, and dignity, research has shown that a patients’ mental and physical health tends to decline at a faster rate in a clinical setting, versus a home environment.

Professional, in-home care is a viable, affordable alternative for patients and their families who don’t have the time or experience to take on the role of caregiver themselves. The question is, how do you know when it’s time for home care? Learning to recognize the signs of need is the first step towards evaluating the level of care required from homemaking to advanced nursing care and ensuring the health and safety of your loved one.

Warning Signs That It’s Time For Home Care

  • Personality changes.  If your loved one has become withdrawn, moody, depressed, or no longer takes pleasure in activities they once enjoyed, they may be in the early stages of dementia or be despondent at the prospect of aging and a decreased loss of independence.
  • Increasing forgetfulness. While absentmindedness is considered to be synonymous with old age, it can range from a nuisance (in the case of missing glasses or car keys), to a hazard (leaving the stove or kettle on, or forgetting to take medication), and could be a warning sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Neglected household chores. Failure to complete everyday tasks such as washing dishes, taking out the garbage, or laundry is a sign your loved one may be overwhelmed or physically unable to perform and requires assistance keeping their home clean.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. A fridge that is empty or crowded with expired leftovers, a freezer full of pre-packaged frozen dinners, cupboards with an unusual number of like items, or an unusual number of expired cans or perishables, point to a lack of meal planning. Your loved one may be in need of assistance with grocery shopping and/or meal preparation.
  • Health concerns. Individuals who are slow to recover from an illness, have a temporary or permanent disability, or experience ongoing health concerns such as diabetes or high blood pressure will benefit from the daily monitoring and support provided by in-home care.
  • Isolation. Social withdrawal where your loved one no longer makes an effort to keep in touch with friends or family or take trips out of the home for errands or exercise can signal depression or a fear of asking others for assistance.
  • Unexplained injuries. Odd bruises, swelling, discoloration, or aches and pains can mean a loss of balance or decline in motor skills that require addressing before serious injury occurs.
  • Lack of personal hygiene. Neglecting daily tasks such as brushing teeth or hair, putting on clean clothing, or bathing can be the result of a loss of mobility, coordination, or cognitive skills.
  • Concerns with driving. New scratches or dents on their car or parking tickets/moving violations can be a sign that your loved one is having difficulty navigating the roads, whether due to a loss of vision, decreased reaction time, lack of perception, or fear.

The Benefits of In-Home Care

Home care providers make it possible for your loved one to remain in their own home as long as possible by assisting with those activities associated with the health, safety, and well-being of the client. When compared with moving to an assisted living facility, the benefits of home care become clear:

  • Cost. Long-term, assisted care facilities can be a financial burden for many, which increases along with the level of care or quality of the facility. In-home care is an affordable alternative, which can be adjusted in frequency or duration as needed.
  • Health. Studies have shown the recovery time and overall health of individuals allowed to age at home is higher than those in a care facility—with a decreased chance of infection or contagion.
  • Quality of life. Remaining in a familiar environment—close to family, pets, and treasured belongings—significantly improves the comfort, dignity, freedom, and independence levels of the client, thus enhancing the quality of life.

Providing Compassionate, Experienced In-Home Care in Maryland Since 1993

If you have a loved one in Montgomery County, Maryland who would benefit from in-home care, contact us today to schedule a free assessment. We can discuss your needs and match your family member with a home care professional that fits his or her unique personality, interests, and needs. We provide experienced help at affordable rates!

Advanced Nursing & Home Support, a homecare company for over 20 years, does it for less. Contact us online or by phone at 240-283-4984 to schedule your in-home assessment!