By the time we recognize that our loved one needs in-home or aged care, it is often too late to make a well-thought-out and thoroughly-researched decision. Thankfully, there are signs to look out for that will give you more than enough time. Here are some things to consider to make your choice an easier one.
No longer being able to walk up the stairs safely or cook are just two of the developing physical limitations that can signify it is time to look into some form of care assistance. Being unsteady on their feet or having shaking hands can cause accidents that lead to more serious issues.
Whether they can no longer carry out the physical aspects of house cleaning and maintenance, or you have noticed their hair and clothes have become unkempt. Issues with personal hygiene can lead to illnesses and sickness.
Forgetting to take medication and skipping meals can be seen in a sudden loss of weight, poor health, weakness and confusion. Injuries can also occur, though the cause may already be forgotten or have gone unnoticed.
Some seniors in the early stages of dependence may begin to withdraw from social situations. They may feel lonely, a burden when on outings, or perhaps they are too fearful to leave the house. Unknown people may appear as a threat, or their mind may be too focused on whether they turned off appliances and locked doors.
When it comes to dealing with a loved one suffering from dementia, there are many matters that need to be dealt with, such as memory loss, reduced communication and the issue of wandering. While in the early stages of dementia, living at home might be possible, it can be increasingly unsafe should the sufferer leave the home alone. Even inside the home, people with advanced dementia need constant monitoring and family members may not be able to provide such constant care. Additions to the home for physical safety can be made and visiting carers can help, but there may come a time when it is best for all involved to consider moving into aged care with dementia care capabilities.
For the Carers
It is natural to step in and help look after our parents. But running errands and popping-in can unexpectedly develop into full-time care on top of your other responsibilities. If you are acting as a carer but are becoming worn down and depressed, it is most likely a sign a professional should be added to the equation.
Seeing our parents get older is never easy, but you can have peace of mind in knowing that when the time comes for them to need a bit of assistance, you can have it all sorted out for them. Keep communication open in regards to plans and wishes, and make sure everyone is on the same page.