Know What Signs to Watch for When Caring for Aging Parents

Home Care Assistance shares how to identify when in-home help is needed.

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Whether a loved one is having difficulty completing everyday tasks or a family caregiver feels they are no longer capable of providing safety and security, home care is an option that allows seniors to maintain as much independence as possible.

Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) June 14, 2013

According to AARP, nearly 90 percent of seniors prefer to live in their own homes as they age. With an increasing population choosing to live at home, it may be more difficult to recognize signs that a loved one needs help with everyday tasks.

Home Care Assistance, North America’s leading provider of in-home care for seniors, offers the following tips for identifying when a parent may need assistance:

  •     Increasing forgetfulness, whether exhibited as misplaced keys or missed appointments, may be an early sign of dementia.
  •     A messy home may indicate that daily activities such as cooking and cleaning have become physically impractical to accomplish.
  •     Poor hygiene could be connected to forgetfulness or depression, a common result of Alzheimer’s.
  •     Falls or injuries could signal diminished motor skills, balance or vertigo.
  •     Personality changes can indicate depression caused by Alzheimer’s disease or frustration with the aging process.
  •     Social isolation may signal that a person is overwhelmed by their declining health conditions.

“Whether a loved one is having difficulty completing everyday tasks or a family caregiver feels they are no longer capable of providing safety and security, home care is an option that not only allows seniors to maintain as much independence as possible but also gives family members peace of mind knowing he or she is safe,” said Lily Sarafan, president of Home Care Assistance.

Broaching the topic of additional assistance in the home with an aging parent or loved one can be a difficult process and is commonly met with resistance. When initiating this type of family discussion, it’s important to foster a dialogue that encourages a loved one to recognize the potential need for in-home care themselves and understand how it can positively impact his or her life. Consider these tips:

  •     Observe and research. Identify a loved one’s limitations in order to discuss relevant concerns with specific examples (e.g. unsafe driving practices, mobility issues).
  •     Evaluate receptiveness and be a resource. Probe lightly during a visit or over the phone with general questions about doctor’s appointments and daily activities. If receptive, maintain a respectful attitude by offering to be a resource and avoid negative phrases.
  •     Set the tone. Let conversation flow naturally. If a loved one doesn’t proactively ask for assistance, starting a dialogue can take place directly following a recent incident, or indirectly by mentioning a neighbor who has benefitted from in-home care. Communicate concerns, but avoid taking a critical approach as it will likely end the conversation.
  •     Be receptive. Practice empathetic listening to show support and get to the root of any resistance in order to assuage any fears.
  •     Consider bringing in a third party. Be prepared to seek outside counsel from a trusted source, such as a priest or rabbi. Most home care professionals are also available to participate in family meetings to address specific questions, without obligation.
  •     Follow up. Decisions may not occur immediately. Allow time for a loved one to digest all information and consider multiple options before bringing the topic up for further consideration.

One of the conditions that may lead to decreased independence and the need for additional assistance in the home is dementia, which affects more than 35 million individuals worldwide and alters brain function, such as memory, language, problem solving and attention. Home Care Assistance has developed the Dementia Therapeutics program, a non-pharmacological intervention program for individuals with neurocognitive deficits and is launching a Dementia Care Center in Northern California this June. For more information about the information session, taking place Thursday, June 27, contact Kathryn Zakskorn at kzakskorn(at)homecareassistance(dot)com.

ABOUT HOME CARE ASSISTANCE

Home Care Assistance is the leading provider of home care for seniors across the United States and Canada. Our mission is to change the way the world ages. We provide older adults with quality care that enables them to live happier, healthier lives at home. Our services are distinguished by the caliber of our caregivers, the responsiveness of our staff and our expertise in Live-In care. We embrace a positive, balanced approach to aging centered on the evolving needs of older adults. A 2013 Franchise500® Company, Home Care Assistance has received numerous industry awards including Entrepreneur’s Fastest-Growing Franchises and Franchise Business Review’s Top 50. For more information about Home Care Assistance, our services and franchise opportunities, visit homecareassistance.com or franchise.homecareassistance.com.


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