Sometimes It can be difficult to admit when you or a loved one are in need of some help and support, whether it is home care or assisted living. Home Instead Welwyn and Hatfield receive quite a few calls from distressed families who are at a point where they feel it is time to get some help. But when is the right time to seek support? In all honesty there is no "right time", however there are some signs that you can identify, which can help you make a decision.
Red flags will be very obvious to family members and can include big incidents at home, such as a fall, a medical scare or wandering. Challenges with simple daily tasks or a long-term illness may be less apparent at first, but could eventually progress, until it becomes too difficult to live independently. All are very noticeable and are usually the key decision making factor which causes many family members to look into care.
Change of Appearance
It can be difficult to visit a loved one regularly, but when you do it may be their appearance which can send alarm bells ringing. Noticeable changes in weight (loss or gain) can represent an underlying medical condition such as Dementia (forgetting to eat or forgetting what they have eaten) or Cancer. Changes in how they appear in public, such as wearing creased clothes that used to be ironed regularly or having a beard when they used to be clean shaving can also represent a lack of dexterity or forgetfulness.
Days being spent inside, not attending regular clubs, not seeing friends or doing activities, can all be representative of social isolation, anxiety or depression. If that is the case, then Companionship care/support could be a simple solution.
Home Instead is currently trying to raise awareness of senior fraud, which looks into how to prevent older people from falling victim to scammers. Thank you messages from businesses/competitions could point to people who have problems with their memory. Unopened bills, personal mail or letters regarding overdrawn payments may also be a big cause for concern, and may suggest problems with managing finances (A Potential symptom of Dementia).
Household clutter, unattended flower pots or pets, Bins not emptied, constant dirty dishes and food past its use by date; all of these signs can add up to a family member who may not be able to cope on their own.
Get a Second Opinion
It is not always 100% clear if your loved one requires care at home or assisted living. However a second opinion should always be welcome, whether this is from another family member, a social worker or a care manager. Home Instead Welwyn & Hatfield provides free at home care consultations with our Care Manager Barbara, to identify care needs; which can underline what home care may or may not be best for the client.
If you are struggling or need help with home care for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to call us on 01707 240 650.