Most elderly folks would rather stay in the comfort of their homes and within arm’s reach of their loved ones. But practically speaking, the adults of the household can get occupied with their own lives—and being around 24/7 isn’t always the reality.
Furthermore, if you’re juggling a career, a family, and an active social life, taking care of your elderly parent’s needs may be the last thing you want to do. Sure, you want to ensure they’re safe and cared for, but you can’t spread yourself thin all the time.
This is when the subject of hiring personal care comes in. While it’s not an easy decision to make, finding professional care might be the most practical decision for your loved one if they’re unable to take care of themselves.
That said, should you have an adult caregiver in the household ready to be the senior’s personal assistant, finding specialized care doesn’t have to be a priority. However, not everyone is privileged to have that household dynamic.
Then, you may ask, when’s the right time to get in-house or facility care for my elderly loved one?
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s peruse six telltale signs that indicate that you need to give your parents aged care.
1) They Can’t Go to the Bathroom by Themselves
If your elderly loved one can’t go to the loo without needing your aid, that’s a sign that they need immediate professional care.
Many elderly folks in their 70s are wholly capable of bathing and using the toilet by themselves. But not all of them. If your parent falls in the latter cohort, be patient and considerate of their abilities.
While you can technically assist them from time to time, it’s not realistic to assume that you’ll always be around to lend them a helping hand.
On top of this, falls are one of the most common injuries among elderly individuals. With the slippery nature of bathrooms, leaving your elderly loved one to take care of themselves can be a disaster waiting to happen.
Instead of pushing through that risk, consider bringing your elderly loved one to an aged care facility or hiring an in-home caregiver to assist them with this task.
2) Their Cognitive Faculties Are Deteriorating
Is the senior in your family constantly forgetting simple things? Like where they’re at, who they are, names of people they know, and things they’ve done a few minutes ago? If so, it might be time to give them a personal aide or bring them to an aged care facility.
It’s a devastating phenomenon, but it’s something many families around the world are dealing with daily. As many as 6 million elderly folks in the US are afflicted by brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These neurological diseases cause them to develop varying signs of memory loss and forget basic things.
If your elderly loved one is already displaying early signs of these mental disorders, then you need to step in and get them some professional help. It’s important to understand the signs and make the right steps early so that you can provide the best care possible.
3) They Need Constant Medical Attention
As seniors age, they’ll start developing more age-related health conditions. The conditions they may already be grappling with could also worsen over time. If you choose to keep them at home under your care, you could be taking them out to the doctor’s one to two days a week, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Instead of putting your elderly loved one through frequent doctor’s visits, consider bringing them to a nursing home or hiring an in-home caregiver to watch over their medical needs. That way, they can receive professional care 24/7, and you won’t have to go through the hassle of taking them to multiple appointments.
4) They Wander Outside
When you have a standard office job, your elderly parent or loved one will have some time away from your constant supervision. This means that there’s little stopping them from getting their car keys, walking out of the house, and commuting to who knows where.
If they have historically formed the habit of wandering, this can be a good time to look outward for extra hands to ensure that they’re safe. Leaving the elderly on their own is extremely risky, as they may not have the ability to communicate with the rest of the family about their whereabouts. They could also be suffering from mental conditions.
To combat this possible dilemma, aged care facilities typically implement security measures to prevent wandering. In-home caregivers are also able to provide constant supervision to keep your loved one safe.
5) You’re Too Busy
Besides your elderly loved one’s health status, prioritizing your own needs is also a completely viable reason for you to consider outside care. There’s no greater sacrifice than taking care of a parent or loved one, but sometimes this may not be feasible when you’re juggling a load of other things.
If you find yourself in this situation, then aged care facilities or an in-home caregiver would be a tremendous help. Through either of these modes of care, you can breathe easy and focus on the more pressing matters in your life.
6) They’re Not Taking Care of Themselves
Is your elderly loved one not eating right? Are they constantly forgetting to take their medication? Is their room always in disarray?
If you said yes to any of these, you’re much better off hiring carers for your elderly loved one. There’s no shame in getting outsiders to take care of your senior parents, especially if the aforementioned problems don’t get addressed even after constant reminders and interventions.
Having a carer ensures that their days are planned and regulated and their health is looked after. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s welfare is under control—which is utterly priceless.