5 Signs an ageing relative may need support

Each January we see a significant increase in enquiries from families seeking care for an ageing loved one. Last year the increase was 35% so this is not insignificant.

As a result, our offices across the country are busy recruiting caring and compassionate individuals to join our Care Professional teams to allow us to support more people and their families.

More often than not the enquiries for care support come in as a result of families spotting changes in an elderly relative’s health, cognitive ability or general disposition.

Because families come together over the festive season, often spending more time together than they would typically, they have the opportunity to spot signs that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Mum is perhaps more forgetful than last time you visited and is repeating stories. Dad has lost weight and is off his food. A parent living on their own complains of being lonely and not getting out to see friends as often.

These are some of the more obvious signs of a decline in wellbeing, but what are the more subtle changes that family members should look out for?

  • House is untidy, unclean or both – there can be a number of reasons why someone falls behind with housekeeping. It could be that they can no longer carry the vacuum cleaner upstairs, are unable to bend down – or perhaps their eyesight is failing. It could also be a general lack of enthusiasm for this sort of work!
  • A bruise on an arm or leg indicating a fall – as people get older, they are more likely to fall and it’s common that falls become recurrent. But many people don’t like to tell loved ones that they have experienced a fall. A bruise can indicate that a fall has occurred.
  • Food in fridge well past sell-by date – this can be a sign of cognitive decline or the early stages of dementia. People can start to over buy food and are unable to process use by dates – so food remains in the fridge well past a time when it’s healthy to consume.
  • Don’t recognise names in Christmas cards – another sign of dementia can be no longer knowing who people are. A pile of Christmas cards arrive and your loved has no idea who the person is that sent it.
  • Resist social situations – people can start to lose confidence and wish to remain at home rather than go out. We all know how important it is to remain connected with our local community so it’s worrying when this happens.

If you have spotted any of these signs in a loved one, be aware that help is at hand. Home care starts with as little as one or two hours of care per week to help with light housekeeping, companionship or support getting out and about.

And if you think you could enjoy being a Care Professional to support our clients, you can find more details here: https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/recruitment/fit/