The number of seniors in the US is likely to at least double in the next four decades, with 100,000,000 Americans projected to reach age 65 by 2060.
It is likely that there is a senior in your life, or soon will be, and you will need to make decisions regarding their care. For many, the options include retirement communities, nursing homes, assisted living centers, or a qualified and experienced professional home health aide. If you wish to preserve the lifestyle, comfort, and relative independence of a senior in your life, then a home health aide is likely a choice worth considering carefully. Read on for an overview of how to tell that it may be time to consider a home health care professional for the senior you are or will soon be caring for.
It’s likely that you have already seen some of the signs that the senior you care about is approaching a new part of their lives in which they will need to work with a professional to sustain their comfort and maintain their lifestyle. While the specific changes can be as varied as the seniors who experience them, you may have noticed some of these more common signs:
Fatigue and Physical Soreness
Struggling to maintain the physical activity, even modest physical activity, that they had been used to. Tiring quickly while standing or walking, demonstrating difficulty remaining comfortable while seated, and expressing abnormal discomfort during any kind of activity are all signs that it may be time to talk about a partnership with a home health aide.
Reduced or Limited Attention to Daily Care
If you find that the senior in your life is neglecting their routine care, such as bathing, toothbrushing, keeping house, or cleaning laundry, it may be time to talk about delegating some of those duties to a home health aide.
Expressions of Concern About Health or Independence
Often, a caretaker won’t even have to initiate a conversation about continuing care: seniors will frequently begin to express concerns about retaining their independence, or about their general health. Be listening, and be caring and attentive.
For the most part, these signs can start very early and sustain for some time. Other, more concerning indications should be tended to with more urgency.
Difficulty Maintaining Medication
We all have medications to maintain, and those schedules can last well into our later years. If you are caring for a senior who seems suddenly to have trouble managing their medications – they may struggle to manage prescriptions, keep current with dosages, or adhere to the prescribed schedule – it is a sign that they would benefit from the assistance of a home health aide, and that you should intervene in some manner as soon as possible.
Indications of Stress or Cognitive or Emotional Dysfunction
Forgetfulness; sadness; confusion; seeming overwhelmed: These kinds of signs should be readily apparent, as you will likely know the senior you care for very well. What’s most important to consider in this case is that no matter how frustrating this can be for you as a partner, child, or caretaker, they are a great deal more intimate and frustrating for them. Be compassionate, and talk candidly about what can be done to manage the way they are changing.
What is a Home Health Aide?
When you discuss introducing a partnership with a home health aide, it’s important that you are able to answer your loved one’s questions in an informed and positive way. There will necessarily be some anxiety about working with a home health aide: educating the senior in your life about what a home health aide is and does can mitigate that anxiety.
Home health aides provide care for seniors and others in the familiarity and comfort of their homes, sparing them the transition and upheaval of moving to a senior living center or retirement community. They are licensed health professionals, highly trained and experienced. They are there to work with seniors to maintain their comfort and independence and to ensure that necessary daily needs are met. There is no shortage of resources when it comes to learning about home health aides. Start by finding a home healthcare agency today.
Special Touch caregivers are certified paraprofessionals. Before they hit the ground running, they go through an extensive screening process. We dig deep into their background to make sure they are someone that we would trust to take care of our own parents and grandparents. This includes criminal background checks, drug screening, and also professional and personal reference checks.