Determining when your loved one is no longer able to fully care for themselves anymore is rarely an easy task. Often seniors are reluctant to admit they need help for fear of losing their independence or simply out of embarrassment. Sometimes our own emotional attachment prevents us from admitting the reality of the situation and allows us to ignore the early signs. The signs that a loved one needs in-home care can develop gradually, and aren’t always easy to pick up on if you see your loved one on a daily or weekly basis. For those who see their loved ones less frequently, perhaps a more “sudden decline” seems to have taken place in mom or dad’s ability to perform certain tasks.
If you suspect (but aren’t sure) that your loved one may need in-home care, there are a few warning signs you can look for to help you decide. The “Right at Home” website has an article listing ten signs that home care could benefit your loved one, which include:
- Your loved one is “letting herself go.”
- Your loved one’s home is not kept up.
- Your loved one isn’t eating well.
- Your loved one has fallen, or is afraid of falling.
- Your loved one is having trouble managing medications.
- Your loved has cut back on outings and activities.
- There are piles of mail on the table, and overdue bills.
- Your loved one has been a fraud victim.
- Caring for your loved one is a growing challenge.
- Long-distance caregivers are feeling increasing concern.
Once you decide your loved one needs in-home care you’ll have to determine the right kind and level of care your loved one needs. For example: does your parent need just a little bit of help with cooking and housekeeping, or is more comprehensive care (such as daily help with bathing, grooming, mobility and medication) necessary? Many in-home care agencies in Massachusetts will provide a comprehensive needs assessment in your loved one’s home at little cost. The level of care your loved one needs, as well as what financial resources you have available, will help narrow down your choice of agency or aide.
A Massachusetts elder law attorney can help guide you through what can be a confusing and emotional transition. Always remember, you don’t have to go through any of this alone. We’re here to help you.