Is It Time to Hire A Home Health Aide?

Home Health Aide

Each person progresses through retirement differently. Some aging retirees may be perfectly capable of independent living, while others may benefit from assistance. But as people age, there will be physical and mental changes. That said, the services of a home health aide may be beneficial to continue living independently.

So, when is it time to hire a home health aide?

When considering the ideal assistance for your senior parent, you need to look at their situation. Watch out for signs. Sometimes these signs may show up gradually. Other times, it comes out of the blue.

Deciding to hire a home health aide may be difficult, but it can assist seniors in living a safe, comfortable life.

Signs a Senior May Benefit from a Home Health Aide

Weight Loss

This sign is easy to miss, especially when you see your aging loved one daily. Weight loss may go unnoticed until it becomes extreme. So, if your parent looks thinner than normal, take it as a sign.

Weight loss from forgetting to eat: Some aging seniors lose weight because they forget to eat. This could be attributed to memory problems. For instance, if your parent cannot recall eating, the services of a home health aide may be beneficial.

It is advisable to consult with your parent's physician when considering home care options.

Weight loss due to physical challenges: Another common reason for weight loss is physical challenges. Some aging seniors may find it difficult to prepare food. That said, they may avoid doing basic tasks. A health aide companion can assist your elderly parent with tasks that are becoming a challenge.

Accidents and Unexplained Bruises

Has your loved one slipped and fell recently? Or have you noticed new bruises that may be from bumping into furniture?

Maybe it is time to look for in-home care options.

Slip and falls are an unfortunate yet common occurrence for retirees that carries a high mortality rate due to recovery complications. To lower their risk, having someone there assist them is highly beneficial.

Additionally, check your parent's home for fall hazards. This includes the stairs, clutter, and more. Decrease the risk of a fall. And look for options to improve the safety of their home. A licensed home health agency can perform and in-home safety assessment and make recommendations.

Change in Appearance and Behavior

Physical changes can be a sign that your aging loved one may benefit from extra assistance at home. A few changes to watch out for include:

  • Personal hygiene

  • Poor diet

  • Wearing dirty clothes

These changes could be a sign that they need assistance in their daily activities. A health aide can provide assistance with bathing, grooming, and other daily activities

You also need to watch out for behavioral changes. Here are some common signs:

  • Loneliness

  • Loss of interest in activities

  • Aggressive outbursts

  • Extreme mood swings

A home health aide will not only provide assistance in daily living but offer companionship as well to improve mental well-being.

Memory Problems

Whether it is a minor memory problem or Alzheimer's, it can significantly affect your parent's quality of life.

Here are a few indicators that your parent may have an early onset that is undiagnosed, and in addition to consulting their physician, would more than likely benefit from in-home care:

  • The mailbox is overflowing

  • Mail and bills are left unopened

  • Late payment notices

  • Missing important appointments

  • Increased confusion

Forgetting a birthday or forgetting to open mail is distressing enough. But problems like forgetting to eat or take medications or forgetting to turn off the stove can put them at high risk.

Having a home health aide around can mitigate a lot of these hazards and provide a little more piece of mind to the family.