Can Homecare Help?

Admitting the need for help is not easy for anyone, even as they age. Sometimes, the responsibility falls on family members. Is it time for in home care? How do you know? The following are “red flags” and may indicate that an aging loved one might need support with routine tasks and activities of daily living.

Changes in Physical Function and Mental Status

  • Difficulty keeping track of time
  • Sleeping for most of the day
  • Poor diet or weight loss
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
  • Difficulty getting up from a seated position
  • Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
  • Unexplained bruising or injuries
  • Marks or wear on walls, door jams, furniture and other items being used to help with stability while walking through the home
  • Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
  • Forgetfulness, including forgetting to take medications or taking incorrect dosages
  • Missing important appointments
  • Consistent use of poor judgment (e.g. falling for scams or sales pitches, giving away money)

Changes in Personal Hygiene

  • Unpleasant body odor
  • Infrequent or bathing
  • A strong smell of urine in the house or on clothing
  • Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care (e.g. unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, lack of oral care, wearing dirty or stained clothing)

Neglecting Household Responsibilities

  • Little or no fresh, healthy food in the fridge
  • Dirty house and/or excess clutter
  • Dirty laundry piling up
  • Stains or wet spots on furniture or carpet
  • Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away
  • Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox
  • Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors
  • Utilities being turned off due to missed payments
  • Unexplained dents and scratches on their car

These signs may indicate a need for some level of in home care. Please contact us if you would like more information. We’d be happy to discuss your situation or answer any questions you may have. Consultation is always free.

Helpful Links

Recognizing your mother or father or both are unable to fully care for themselves might be one of the hardest realizations of your life. The next tough choice is trying to decide who will provide the care they need. Vibrant Homecare is dedicated to keeping up to date on resources and tools for caregivers and industry information. We also want to make resources available to our clients and their families who may also benefit from additional education. Here are some helpful links:

Aging in Place  http://www.ageinplace.org/

Alzheimer’s Association http://www.alz.org/

American Society on Aging http://www.asaging.org/

CMS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid https://www.cms.gov/

International Caregivers Association http://www.internationalcaregiversassociation.com/

Iowa Home and Community Based Services Waiver Website https://dhs.iowa.gov/ime/members/medicaid-a-to-z/hcbs/waivers

Iowa Medicaid HCBS Brochure http://dhs.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/HCBSbrochure102606.pdf

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging https://www.n4a.org/

National Organization on Disability http://www.nod.org/

National Policy & Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging https://www.n4a.org/

National Private Duty Association http://pdhca.org/

Third Age http://thirdage.com/