Our aging process is as individual as we are. Some of us age slowly and others can experience immense changes within a relatively short period of time.
While a drastic change in your loved one’s ability to care for themselves can be a real shock, dealing with a slow decline can also be a difficult situation to navigate.
Trust your instincts when things seem “not quite right”
As our friends and family members age, we can often get a niggling feeling of something “not quite right” in the things they say and do. Small signs can be strong indicators, but often people can be exceptionally good at hiding that they are not coping as well as they once did.
Don’t let the problems escalate
Health in the elderly can deteriorate and problems can escalate quickly catching everyone involved completely off guard.
At Home Support Services (HSS), our staff work with the elderly every day providing quality home nursing and care services. We have compiled a list of the most common signs to be aware of that your loved one may need assistance.
The HSS Home Care Checklist
Personal signs of needing care include…
- Out of character appearance – clothing untidy, unclean or unsuitable for the weather, unshaven, body odour or a general unkept look that is out of the ordinary for them.
- A reduced level or evidence of poor personal hygiene.
- Unexplained bruising or minor injuries.
- Depressed, low energy or lack of interest in doing things.
- Changes in mood or extreme mood swings.
- Trouble getting up from a seated position or physically completing usual tasks.
- Evidence of a poor diet (lack of food in the house or uneaten spoiling food and general disinterest in eating or keeping to mealtimes) or obvious weight loss.
- Missing important appointments and engagements.
- Confusion or uncertainty when performing once-familiar tasks.
- Forgetfulness or vagueness.
- Pacing or restless aimless movement.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and once enjoyed activities including missing social events or withdrawing.
- Forgetting to take medications or making mistakes with medicines.
- Returning late from regular walks or displaying difficulty locating familiar places.
Signs in the home that care may be needed…
- External areas of the house and yard need care and maintenance or are below their usual standard of care.
- Broken appliances and equipment around the house (e.g. burnt pots and pans, broken knobs and handles).
- Spoiled or out of date groceries in the fridge and food left out to waste or generally improperly stored.
- Cluttered, unhygienic, and disorganised house below the usual standard (e.g. a sink full of dirty plates, dirty laundry piling up, or clothes left on the line for long periods of time).
- Unexplained dents or scratches on the car. Parking or driving fines.
- Unopened or unpaid bills. Mail and paperwork left around the house or even still in the letterbox. Late payment notices and bounced checks.
- Broken rails, shower curtains or other items in the bathroom or other areas of the house indicating using items for support while bathing or damage due to minor accidents.
Get help early to improve the outcome
If your loved one is showing signs of not coping on their own, it’s important to have the hard conversations with everyone involved.
Often getting some extra help at home can produce an improved longer-term outcome and allow them to remain independent for as long as possible.
Care as individual as you are
More Australians than ever are choosing home care support to enable their elderly to have quality of life in the comfort and environment they are accustomed to.
At HSS, we work with you to establish the level of care that is required for your unique circumstance.
Call our team of healthcare specialists today to discuss your needs.
Complete, Understanding, Respectful Care in the Privacy of Your Own Home.
Registered Nurses / Home Carers / Domestics / Allied Health / Rapid Response / Case Management