The cost of nursing home care has risen so dramatically that it is now out of reach for the average American family. (Up to $80,000 a year, according to most reports.) As a result, many adult children are now caring for their elderly parents at home — which may be manageable until they start struggling with everyday issues like dressing, bathing, and taking their medication. Is there an affordable alternative to nursing home care?
Thankfully, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, most people don’t know when it’s time to call in the pros. They often think they can handle everything on their own simply because they care, but they seldom have the experience to do the job. This goes double when memory loss and dementia issues make it even more difficult to take care of someone who needs looking after. With that in mind, here are the most common signs that it’s time to call a home health care professional.
It often starts with something simple like misplacing the car keys… But later becomes something potentially dangerous like leaving a pot boiling on the stove. The tragic thing about memory loss in seniors is that it almost never gets better. Children might hope their senior parents will somehow get back to their old selves, but that is seldom the case. Sometimes the only way to keep them comfortable and safe is to hire a reputable home health care professional.
When an older person can no longer take a morning walk without a guide, it’s time to call in a personal-care assistant. This is true even when they rarely leave the house. Because memory loss causes confusion and affects judgment, a person with dementia might go out for a number of random reasons. Perhaps they saw a commercial on the television and want to pick the advertised item up at the store, or maybe they think they have to go to work that day, even though they’ve been retired for over a decade. Whatever the reason, the memory-impaired individual who leaves the house is putting themselves and others at risk, especially if they have access to an automobile.
Like other daily routines, a person who suffers from dementia will let a lot of things slide. In most cases, they simply forget to brush their teeth, take a shower, or even change their clothes. It is also quite common for people with memory loss to avoid these daily chores because they find them uncomfortable. While it is certainly possible for adult children to help their parents dress themselves, brush their teeth, and comb their hair, other daily rituals are potentially dangerous for the untrained assistant. For example, trying to get an elderly individual who doesn’t want to take a bath or shower into the tub can easily result in a slip and fall for one or both parties.
When elderly parents struggle with any or all of the aforementioned issues, it’s best to call a home health care professional as soon as possible.