Clues for Care

Knowing the right time to broach the subject of care with a loved one can be tough. It’s often a tricky topic which needs to be handled with sensitivity and tact. Understandably many people feel reluctant to allow ‘strangers’ into their homes and there are often fears that accepting support means a loss of control and independence, when the reality is quite the opposite! Sadly this means that many people will put care off until a situation arises which forces the decision.

We know that when it comes to care high quality, unhurried and companionship led support introduced early can do wonders to prevent a crisis further down the line and is often key to an older person remaining safe at home- potentially for the rest of their life. It also allows trusting relationships to be built which eases the transition to accepting increased support later if needed. 

Remember, when health and wellbeing concerns arise the first step should always be to encourage a discussion with the GP.

If you’re reading this the chances are there’s a person in your life that you’re starting to worry about and are wondering if they might need a little help. But how can you be sure it’s the right time to bring the subject up? We’ve listed some of the key ‘clues for care’ to look out for:

  • Car concerns: Have you spotted any unexplained scrapes or dents on the car? Have there been any issues or concerns raised around their driving? Have important legal aspects such as MOT, road tax and insurance been allowed to lapse?
  • Changes in the kitchen: Is the usually well stocked kitchen starting to look a little bare? Or is the contents of the fridge and cupboards piling up and not getting eaten? Keep an eye out for food going out to date and not getting thrown away too.
  • A halt in the housework: Usual standards at home might be starting to slip or home hygiene and clutter might be getting to a point where it’s posing a risk.
  • Medication mishaps: Perhaps medication keeps being missed or mistakes with medication keep cropping up? 
  • Admin issues: Bills not getting paid, post piling up, or problems with managing money can all be a sign that a person might need some extra support.
  • Concerns with cleanliness: You might have noticed your loved one wearing stained clothes when they have previously been well present, or clothing not getting changed for long periods of time, they are appearing generally dishevelled or have a body odour. The shower, bath or bathroom basin may not appear to be getting used. 
  • Weight worries: Are you seeing signs of unexplained and unplanned weight loss? Perhaps clothes are appearing baggy and/or loose fitting?
  • Mobility matters: General unsteadiness and falling can become problematic for older people and can have severe consequences. 
  • Cognitive changes: Memory problems, confusion, disorientation or a dementia diagnosis can all impact on a person’s ability to live safely unaided.

    If any of the above sounds familiar it might be time to initiate a conversation about home care. Contact Home Instead Exeter and East Devon on 01395 200600 for a no obligation chat with our experienced Home Care Consultants. We are a 5*outstanding rated home care provider; our dedicated team are committed to providing the highest quality service that’s good enough for our own Mums and Dads.
Elderly man with concerned daughter in the background