Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FAQs About Senior Care and Talking to Elderly Parents about Help

Recently Jim Smeaton, owner of Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville, was interviewed by Skip Helms of Helms Wealth Management regarding common questions and concerns families may have about senior care. Here are some key points from the discussion and what you need to know:

Signs your Elderly Parent could Benefit from In-Home Care

·         Excessive Clutter: If your parent is generally fairly neat but things start piling up and it poses a risk for tripping and falling. Falls can be more dangerous for seniors because it can take longer to heal and complications can arise. Mail piling up and bills not getting paid can also be a concern. It may indicate mild forgetfulness or something more serious.

·         Weight Loss: If your senior’s clothes are starting to hang off their frame and they either don’t have food in their refrigerator or it’s expired, this can be problematic. It is a sign that they aren’t eating enough, or aren’t eating healthy. Are they having trouble physically making or eating food? Or perhaps they don’t remember to stop and make lunch.

·         Changes in Personal Hygiene: It’s not normal for your parent to be wearing the same clothes every time you see them. Is there a reason they’re not doing laundry? Do they have trouble navigating the stairs to get to the washer and dryer?

·         Forgetfulness: Some forgetfulness is normal and happens to everyone, but when it impacts their quality of life or safety, it’s time to take a closer look and see if there are underlying problems like dementia.

·         Balance Problems: Being unsteady on their feet can increase risk of tripping and falling. Oftentimes balance problems can be addressed through physical therapy and other means, and in-home care can assist with navigating safely around the home and completing daily tasks.

Talking to Elderly Parents about Senior Care

Some seniors are in denial that they need help or are resistant to let anyone step in. As a family member, it’s important to be honest with them and express your concern. Sit them down and discuss the changes and dangers you have noticed. Let them know that you would feel better knowing they had someone to help them out so they can stay in their home.

If you’re concerned about their driving, next time you go out, let them get behind the wheel. With you in the car, they may realize their driving really isn’t that safe and it’s time to turn over the keys. An in-home care provider can take them where they need to go and assist them with running errands, preparing meals, and tidying up around the home.

Furthermore, the level of support is flexible. Some clients only have a caregiver come in three or four hours a week. Others have someone there three to four hours a day or more. It really varies depending on the person. Generally you can get around 40 to 50 hours of in-home care a week before it breaks even with the amount you would spend on an assisted living community.

It can be difficult to notice changes in your aging parent if you see them frequently, so it’s important to know what to look for. Be alert to the signs mentioned earlier and have an honest discussion with your parent about their safety and quality of life. They can always try in-home care for a few hours a week to see what they think and then you can adjust accordingly from there. 

You can watch the full interview here.

For more information about Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville, call (828) 989-7263 or visit us online. Provide your parent with the support they need to age in place safely and comfortably.

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