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May 5, 2022

Is it Time for In-Home Help?

"Needing a little help" doesn’t always begin with a trip to the hospital for a fall or unwelcome diagnosis like Alzheimer's. Sometimes it sneaks up on us, or we are unaware of the early warning signs that the person in need of care is exhibiting.

Changes in your aging parent’s behavior, personality, level of self-care, or the ability to do things they enjoy can indicate that the time for a caregiver may be approaching.

It’s important to stay aware of these types of changes on seniors' abilities, even when they are living independently and are in good physical and mental health. Knowing what to look for can help prepare for the transition of receiving "a little help" from an in-home caregiver or personal assistant.

Here is a list that adult children can use to observe changes in their parents’ behavior and personal care. Please note that this list should not be used to diagnose individuals. Only licensed health care professionals are able to make medical diagnoses and put together treatment plans for their patients.

Behavioral changes

  • Irritable (gets upset easily)
  • Confused (does not understand what is happening)
  • Memory loss (forgets or repeats conversations, medications unfilled or not being taken)
  • Withdrawn (does not want to talk)
  • Sad (tearful)
  • Angry (loses temper)

No need to rush to the doctor every time your mom or dad has a bad mood, since we all have different personalities and our moods can change depending on the day. However, if he or she has been acting out of character for some time, there may be an underlying reason. You may want to have a conversation with them about how they are feeling and discuss ways you can help.

Changes in activities of daily living

  • Problems preparing meals
  • Difficulty getting in and out of the bath tub
  • Difficulty getting to the toilet
  • Difficulty moving (getting out of a chair, walking across the room)
  • Dirty and cluttered house (food expired, laundry piling up, neglected home repairs)
  • Confused (does not understand what is happening)

Here are some examples of how changes to the person’s behavior, character, and/or daily living activities can affect different aspects of their life: 

  • Personal hygiene: if neglected can increase risk of infection
  • Nutrition: the person in your care may be getting too much or not enough food each day.
  • Personal safety: a person with dementia may wander, which is a serious safety risk.
  • Balance and mobility: shaky balance and difficulty with moving can increase the person's risk for falling and injury.

Your parent may be reluctant to say they need help, or try to downplay the trouble they are having. By providing help, in even a small way, can make a big difference and allow them to return to greater independence.

 Help at Home Senior Care Nevada can help you with the day to day tasks of caregiving to help you focus on more important matters like spending quality time with the person in your care, your family, or focus on your own needs. 

If you’d like to learn more about Help at Home Senior Care Nevada, providing care to Reno and the surrounding areas, contact us at 775-507-3111. We are happy to answer your questions.

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