Warning Signs It May Be Time to Look for Help with Your Aging Loved One
Making the decision of whether or not your aging loved one needs help beyond your control or abilities is always difficult. For some, this is a situation that has slowly been creeping upon them for years that has suddenly come to head. For others, you may have been thrust into the middle of the decision making suddenly or sooner than you thought you may. While time does not make the decision any easier, evaluating the warning signs maybe your best option in deciding from a more objective standpoint if your elderly loved one needs help from a professional.
Fearing for Their Safety
If there has been a sudden change in your loved one’s health or condition and you find yourself worrying day-and-night for their safety, it may be time for you to look for professional help. One may concern may be of your loved one experiencing a serious or fatal fall. Accidental falls are one of the number one reasons for senior visits to the ER. If your loved one has suddenly become increasingly forgetful or struggles with independent movement, looking into in-home or out-home care may be the best way to ensure their safety.
Inability to Care for Themselves or their Home
If your loved one is struggling to keep up with their personal hygiene or keeping their living space clean and clear of clutter, you may want to look into an in-home caregiver. An in-home caregiver can come by for a few hours a week or even live with your loved one, depending on the situation and the level of care your loved one needs. An in-home caregiver can cook, clean, perform personal hygiene, and offer companionship for those who find themselves lacking in self-care where they were once fine.
A New or Chronic Health Concern
A new or chronic health concern that leaves your aging loved one overwhelmed or unsafe is a big factor when it comes to considering finding help for your elderly loved one. Attempting to manage an aging loved one’s chronic illness or declining health on your own can be overwhelming. On top of this, you may not be the most qualified person to help them with their new or worsening situation. By finding an in-home treatment or looking into out-home treatments, such as a senior care facility, you are ensuring that your loved one receives the best care they can while they grapple with health concerns.
Mental Health Issues such as Depression
While mental health has become an increasingly popular topic in the modern-day, it can still be considered a taboo subject for some. This can be especially true for our elderly loved ones who grew up in a time-period that believed mental health to be a ‘weakness’ or ‘personal flaw’ that must be kept under wraps. Because of this, your aging loved one may be struggling with a mental health issue such as depression in silence. Keeping an eye out for warning signs of depression such as isolation, disinterest in hobbies they used to enjoy, or sudden decline in personal hygiene (to name a few) can be important in catching the warning signs of declining mental health.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is easier for a person to speak to a stranger than their closest loved ones about what is troubling them. They may not want to feel like a burden on their loved ones or they simply do not want those they see on a regular basis to know about their darkest and innermost thoughts and feelings. Your loved one may benefit from professional help and you should speak to your doctor about different forms of therapy if you suspect they may be suffering from depression. If your loved one has approached you about feeling depressed or “sad” a lot, do not dismiss their emotions as a passing feeling and seek help right away.
If your loved one has expressed suicidal thoughts or has spoken about any form of self-harm, contact professional help right away.
Ultimately, the decision to seek professional help may be easiest when considering the situation with your aging loved one. Speaking with them about your concerns and discussing options such as in-home versus out-home care can make the decision easier for you and more beneficial for them in the long run.