How to Know When to Hire an In-Home Caregiver

Author: Teresa Nelson

Did you know that nearly half of all senior adults over the age of 65 need some type of assistance daily? It’s true. As many as 70% of seniors will need a caregiver at some point as they continue to age. One of the biggest challenges with caregiving is how to know when it’s time to hire in-home care. The common thing to do is wait for an illness or injury and then figure that out. However, it is far better to think through the options sooner rather than later! Your options will decrease by waiting until a crisis arises, but there are several signs that can help you determine if the time is right.

Tips for Knowing It’s Time

Balance Issues. One of the greatest threats to seniors is the risk of falling. Pay close attention to signs of being unsteady on their feet, or having difficulty rising from a sitting position. Injuries from falling is the number one reason seniors go the ER every year! If the risk of falling is high, it’s time to think about in-home caregiving.

Memory Issues. It’s normal as we age to become more forgetful, even with simple things. If you notice your loved one regularly forgetting appointments, names of friends and family, or being unable to recall information that was recently spoken, you should consult with their doctor.

Driving Issues. Nobody wants to take a senior’s care keys away, but driving can be dangerous if they don’t have quick reflexes, forget where they are going or how to get home. Also, if they have had more than one minor accident or fender bender, it can be a sign that driving has become dangerous.
Missing Doses of Medications. Not taking medicine correctly is extremely common among seniors. This can be a sign of short-term memory loss and should not be ignored. If you notice your senior refusing or forgetting their medications, it’s time for supervision.

Personal Care. If you notice the senior wearing the same clothes several days in a row, refusing or forgetting to bathe, or not remembering simple tasks such as brushing their teeth, it’s time to consult their doctor about hiring a caregiver.

Decline in Housekeeping. If you notice food in the fridge that has gone bad, stacks of mail that has not been opened, or piles of laundry, it’s time to consider hiring a caregiver. These issues can also be the result of depression, so it’s critical that the home environment be kept clean and in order.

Loneliness or Depression. It is extremely common for seniors to have feelings of loneliness, which can lead to depression. If you notice that your loved one has lost interest in outside activities or is sitting in front of the TV all day, companion care may be very helpful!

If your senior loved one desires to age in place, don’t put off having a conversation about in-home care when the need arises. Many will see this as a threat to their independence, however, helping them make critical decisions early in the process is the best way to go! For more information on knowing when a caregiver is needed, please contact us today!

Home Helpers of Eastern Idaho is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, American Falls, Soda Springs, Aberdeen, McCammon, and Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

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