Caring for the elderly can be quite a problem particularly for working couples who have young children to attend to. Some prefer to be in an assisted facility as they have the company of other old people and activities they can join. This is when they are left alone because family members are either in school or at work. Others who have quite a strong independent streak and prefer a flowing and flexible environment rather than a controlled one in a facility, will insist on staying home.
Staying home does not solely mean living with other members of the family. It may be that he/she is living separately. Before making any decision on geriatric home care, do assess the general conditions of a senior but mobile member – a parent or a close relative.
Less personal care and grooming
This is easily detected with one who used to be vain or plain conscious of one’s appearance. You may find clean and dirty clothes mix or no longer attends to regular laundering. The clothes worn may not be appropriate for the occasion, the time of day or these are mismatched clothes and socks. Food in the refrigerator may be spoiled or there’s no proper food stocked for one’s particular food or diet requirements; medications neglected and medical appointments are missed often. Be on the lookout for any weight loss.
Neglect of household matters
Everyone takes certain precautions in managing one’s household. You would know there’s something off when trash piles up, mail and newspapers lie around, the yard is untidy and even simple household chores are not done. For somebody who used to be clean, this is one big “help” sign while for one who had always been quite messy; it will have doubled or tripled. The more worrisome is when stoves and ovens are left open; house unlocked, keys misplaced and valuables lost. Moreover, if there are pets, they, too, are deprived of regular care like being given food regularly.
Neglect of personal affairs
One always take care of money matters so when it’s reported lost or money and valuables are not put in safe places, then you should worry about the mental state of your loved one. During these times, bills are not paid, there is no ready cash as the elderly always forgets to go to the bank, or documents and checkbook are lost.
Establish safety measures
Living alone brings inherent risk as old people can easily stumble and fall due to painful joints or poor physical coordination. Driving should be discouraged as they don’t only present danger to themselves but to others as well. If they are too stubborn to stop driving, the vehicle must be forcibly taken to prevent its use. It has been known that they forget where they park or where they live so it’s time for geriatric home care.
Lack of interest to socialize or visit
Some people are not sociable and as they aged, they may become a recluse. This should be monitored closely as in this case, you will surely have difficulty in knowing what they have in mind. This goes as well for one who enjoys parties, holidays, reunions, and visits and suddenly shows lack of interest in such happenings. Loved hobbies and crafts takes a backseat and the person appear distracted or just sit around listlessly.
One should be alert on the conditions of the elderly. If you think that geriatric home care is necessary, take the time to explain the necessity for a home care provider. Assure that they can still go about what they want to do, but this time, they will have a companion and an assistant to help them maintain their independence.