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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Is It Time for a Home Caregiver?

How do you know when it is time for your older parent to have a caregiver in the home with them? It is often the case that changes are subtle and sneak up on family members. Here are some things that you can look for to trigger the discussion and decision to bring someone in to take care of your older parent.

The sooner you can act after seeing these signs, the better the chances of preventing a health crisis before it becomes unmanageable.

Diet: If their diet consists of frozen meals, canned goods and junk food, it means meal prep has become a problem. This is a sign they may need help with things like meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. It’s also an indication of loneliness or depression.  And, it’s a bad sign for their health. A home caregiver can plan meals, shop, prep meals in advance, cook and provide mealtime companionship and much more.

Housekeeping and Appearance: If the home no longer looks as tidy as in once did, or if your older loved one is not dealing with personal hygiene, these are warning signs. Hoarding may be one example of changes in the home.

Physical Activity: If it has become problematic for them to even get out of a chair, that’s a sign that they need help at home. Not dealing with this warning sign could result in a fall, which could make things much worse very quickly. Signs of this can be seen in the form of unexplained bruises or bumps.

Personality Changes: If they are more agitated, forgetful or fatigued, that could be a sign of depression.

Isolation: Making a personal choice to be by themselves, rather than interact with others, is another warning sign. This withdrawal has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, higher blood pressure and poor overall physical and mental health.

Forgetfulness: Failing to remember words or appointments or repeating themselves is also a warning sign.

While these things don’t necessarily mean that it is time for significant change, they are warning signs that your older family member is changing. In some cases, a caregiver companion is enough to deal with these changes. But they are signs that things should not be ignored because it will lead to greater problems.


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