Deciding if it is time for a loved one to receive home care services is a hard choice. It is not always black and white deciding when the time is right. There are many factors to consider regarding home care needs, ranging in a variety of aspects of life. Here at Kind Heart Senior Care, we want to make the process go smoothly for you and your loved one. To help make things smooth, we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider. These factors will make the decision process a simpler and easier choice.
There are four major categories to consider when evaluating if it is time for help. These four categories are a basis for your evaluation. Extend each category as needed, depending on the individual’s lifestyle. Based on the individual’s situation, home care services can range from once or twice a week, to full 24/7 help. If you determine home care is a necessity, call our office to talk about a personalized plan.
The first category to consider is Personal Care. This category looks at how the person is taking care of themselves. Keeping up with personal hygiene is important to staying healthy. When evaluating the individual, consider the following:
- Is the person bathing? Are they keeping up with showers or baths? Are they able to shower and clean themselves properly and safely?
- Is the individual eating? Are they forgetting meals or choosing not to eat?
- How is the person dressing? Are they wearing clean clothes? Are they dressing appropriately for the place they’re at? Are they presenting themselves as they have before?
- Is the individual using the toilet? Are there problems such as bed-wetting or spoiled pants?
- Is the person keeping up with grooming? Are they keeping up with their fingernails and toenails? Is the individual getting hair cuts and maintaining their hair? Are they keeping up with facial hair?
Take note of these personal care items. Compare how the person is maintaining themselves compared to 1 month ago, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, and 5 years ago. Are there dramatic changes to the individual’s personal care? Small changes in one’s appearance could point to a need for home care.
The second category to consider is Household Care. This category considers if the person’s home is being maintained. An unmaintained house can be dangerous, so keeping up with it is important. Often this is the first category a person declines in. When evaluating the individual’s household care, consider the following:
- Is the person cooking for themselves? Are they making homemade meals?
- Is the individual still getting groceries? Do they buy frozen meals, or are they taking the time to cook proper, nutritious meals?
- Is the person keeping up with household chores? Is the house cleaned on a regular basis? Are their items generally picked up? Is there dust or dirty dishes laying around?
- How is the individual doing at keeping up with laundry? Are there excessive amounts of dirty laundry laying around? Are their clothes full of holes or falling apart?
- How is the person taking care of shopping? Are they able to get groceries, personal care items, medication, and other things they need?
Again, compare how the person is following these steps now to previous times. Are there dramatic changes to the individual’s household care? Changes in one’s home maintenance could suggest a need for home care services.
The third step to consider is Health Care. This step looks are how a person is maintaining their well-being. Ignoring, forgetting, or avoiding health care, can be detrimental to one’s health. When evaluating the individual, consider the following:
- Is the person managing their medicine? Are they taking everything on time? Are they forgetting or avoiding any medication?
- Is the individual scheduling and maintaining doctor appointments? Are they arriving in a timely matter to appointments? Are they following up when needed?
- Is the person attending physical therapy when need be? Are the following in-home instructions when directed to?
- Does the person have memory issues? Do they often forget things that raise concerns? Have you noticed the individual repeating themselves or getting aggravated more often?
- Has there been any extreme weight fluctuation in the individual? Has there been any drastic weight loss or gain with no explanation?
Look at these steps and compare them to the person’s past behavior. Have there been dramatic changes to the individual’s health care? Changes in one’s well-being could imply a need for home care services.
The final step is Emotional Care. This category looks at the person’s emotional health. Mental health is hard to gauge when you aren’t always around, but asking questions can help you assess. When evaluating the individual, consider the following:
- Is the person lonely? Are they withdrawn? Have they seen another person today, this week, or this month?
- Does the individual have companionship? Do they see other people throughout the day? Do they have a pet to keep them company? Do they have family, a significant other, or friends to visit with?
- Is the person participating in meaningful activities? Are they involved with clubs, sports, or community events they once enjoyed? Do they leave their house and interact with others? Are they participating in activities that stimulate their mind and body?
- Is the individual having conversations? Do they interact with other people? Are they conversing on the phone? Are they able to fully articulate a conversation?
Like the previous steps, compare these things to how the person behaved in the past. Emotional health is important and home care services can be simply companionship. If there are dramatic differences in the individual, it may be time for home care.
By evaluating these steps, you will be able to make an informed decision about home care services. Here at Kind Heart Senior Care, we offer services to help with all these concerns and more. Find more information about our services here. If home care is the right choice for a loved one, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us at Kind Heart Senior Care, and we will take the time to learn about your unique situation.