Senior loved one losing weight? Pants are loose, belts tightened? Not changing his or clothes? Significantly less or no trash to put out? Fewer clothes in the laundry basket? Think to yourself maybe it's time to ask a home care professional what to do? Here are some tips to look for when making decisions about bringing senior care in your home.
Most seniors have the misconception that their caregiver has to be with him or her the maximum time, 24/7 either hourly or as live-in. This is not true with Comfort Keepers. Those individuals who cannot be left alone due to memory impairment or physical limitation will require that level of care but most seniors only need a few hours a day or a week or even a month to help with daily tasks.
Sight – Looking at the senior’s appearance can show that they are limited physically or mentally and not completing daily tasks. Watch for clothes with stains, poor personal hygiene, and a disorganized or dirty house.
Sound – Listening to what and how seniors speak can tell you a lot about their current mental status. You should not assume that “old age” is causing these problems. Do they call you by name? Are they speaking normally? Are they staying involved in outside activities?
Smell – Using your nose as an indicator to determine if your relative is bathing properly, cleaning their house or have spoiled food in their kitchen.
Taste – Tasting their food and sorting through their medications can help you determine if they are eating healthy or taking expired medications. Look at expiration dates and for fresh and stocked pantry items.
Touch – A simple hug can tell you if your family member is fragile or losing weight. Is their skin soft and the color normal? Do they have any bruising or tearing of the skin?
Review Status By Phone - During telephone conversations, gently probe:
What did you have for breakfast? If your loved one cannot remember what he/she ate for breakfast that morning, forgot to eat breakfast or the meal appears to lack nutritious value, a memory problem could be setting in.
Did you go to the beauty salon to get your haircut? Did you use the new shower gel I bought you? These are good ‘backdoor’ questions to finding out whether or not your loved one is remembering to take care of his/her hygiene.
Did you go to Bingo? Depression may begin with social withdrawal.
Is your loved one speaking normally? Differences in speech patterns are warning signs for medical problems that should be looked into immediately.
Help is available - Your keen observation may not only provide safety for your family member but may also keep them happy and healthy for years to come. Comfort Keepers provides senior helpers or assisted living services in the privacy of the home, hospital or facility.