10 Signs Your Aging Parents Need Home Health Care
When you go home to visit your aging parents, you may notice a difference since the last time you saw them – mentally or physically. It’s important to look out for early warning signs, so you or your siblings can have a plan ready to help your parents remain independent in the comfort of their own home. Here are 10 signs that could mean your aging parents need home health care:
1. Recently diagnosed with a serious illness
Elderly adults who have been diagnosed with a serious illness may need skilled care, such as a registered nurse, professional home caregivers, occupational therapist or physical therapist, to work with the senior’s physician and family. With the help of skilled care services, your aging parent will have the opportunity to live a better quality of life in the comfort of their home.
Some conditions that benefit from high quality home-based patient care include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiac conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-surgery care, and more!
2. They’re missing appointments and other obligations
It’s normal to forget a meeting or mistake a meeting for a wrong date or time, but once this occurs frequently you should consider looking further into the problem. Forgetfulness can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Parents who are missing appointments and other important social events can be experiencing early signs of memory loss.
Identifying early signs of memory loss can help your parent get the support they need all in the comfort of their own home.
3. Frequent visits to the doctor or hospital
Heart failure, COPD, and stroke are a few medical conditions and illnesses that older adults often get admitted to the hospital. Frequent hospitalizations can impact your aging parents’ health and lower their quality of life. With home health care, your parent will maintain a quality of life while remaining in their home. Living in the familiar surroundings of their own home is the preference for most seniors.
4. Experiencing mobility issues
Do your aging parents spend most of their time at home, only leaving for necessities like medical appointments, a special family event or other important events? If your aging parents are not leaving the home because they are experiencing difficulties moving around or performing daily tasks, home health care can help them with their mobility issues. Our home health aide services assist seniors who are struggling with mobility issues.
5. Difficult standing or recently had a fall
Aging often brings changes in balance, strength and ability to move around. If you notice that your aging parent is leaning over or needs additional support when standing up, then home health care therapy services can help. Physical therapy relieves pain, restores function, and obtains/maintains maximum performance.
Did you recently find out your parent had a fall? Falls can be a sign that your aging parents need help. When seniors stop moving around, it can cause an increase in falls because they aren’t exercising their muscles.
6. Change in routine
Seniors who typically have a set bed time or shower time may start going to bed earlier or later and forgetting to take showers. Or perhaps they used to be organized but now their medication is mixed around or there’s expired food in the fridge. These can be early signs that your aging parents need additional assistance around the house.
7. Lost interest in activities they used to enjoy
Your aging parents may stop attending bingo night, going to family gatherings or engaging in activities they used to enjoy. This could be because they’re afraid of leaving the house because of mobility issues or because it’s overwhelming to be surrounded by too much people. Isolating yourself is understanding; however, it can increase the risk for depression, changes in behavior, and other health issues.
8. Poor medication management
Is there too many pills or not enough pills left in your parents’ medication bottles? Are their medications organized or mixed all over the house? Research shows 25% of older adults take at least five medications to treat chronic conditions and about 50% do not take their medications properly.
Missing medication reminders or taking the wrong medication can lead to serious health issues. It’s important your parents have the proper skilled care services to assist them with their daily routine.
9. Having trouble eating or swallowing
Do your aging parents cough or choke during or after meals or while taking medication? Swallowing problems can cause your aging parents to stop taking their medications properly or avoid eating and drinking, which could result in dehydration or poor nutrition.
Home health care provides domestic assistance, including:
- Meal preparation
- Diet monitoring
- Medication management, and more!
10. Weight loss or gain
Extreme or sudden weight loss can be an early sign that your aging parent is having difficulties eating, forgetting to eat, or binge eating because they’re experiencing depression. It’s important you check your parents’ refrigerator to ensure they’re eating healthy foods that are appropriate for their medical conditions.
How Home Health Care Helps
Home health care may help older adults avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. Nursing Plus of Broward skilled care services include:
- Home Health Aide Services
- Medical Social Workers
- Skilled Nursing Care
- Therapy Services
- Private Duty Services
- Physician House Calls
Help your Aging Parents Today
Noticing any of the 10 early signs mentioned above? Or perhaps any other signs that are worrying you or your siblings? Here are a few tips on how to help your aging parents:
- Learn about home health care. Read and research as much as you can about the benefits of home health care so you can help educate your aging parents.
- Stay in touch. One way to stay in tune with your aging parents’ needs is to have regular check-ins. In a caring manner, ask if they’ve been to the doctor lately and to see medications, paperwork and instructions from their doctor.
- Go to a doctor’s appointment with your aging parents. Ask questions about the signs you’re seeing. It’ll help you understand your parents’ needs and options for care. Asking questions and being present shows that you care – your parents will appreciate your attentiveness.
In-home Nursing Care in Broward County for Your Aging Parents
Most aging parents might not recognize the signs or are too afraid to ask for help. That’s when you come in and play an important role in recognizing their need for help and researching the benefits of home health care.
Finding in-home nursing care for an aging parent can be difficult at first but taking the first step is essential for maintaining the quality of life for your parent. If you need Hollywood home health services or care throughout the nearby areas, or if you have any questions about how our skilled care services can help your aging parent, please feel free to contact Nursing Plus of Broward today. For a full list of our service area, visit our Service Area page.