At some point in our lives most of us will be faced with the question, “Is it time to hire help taking care of mom?” It’s okay to seek guidance as this is a very personal decision for your family that you are making. In-home care can be flexible and more affordable than you might realize. 

We want to help you think through the tough questions such as:

How do you know if it’s time for in-home care?

How do I know if my parents need home care?

While the questions may get harder to answer, you don’t have to face them alone. We are here for you and that’s why we have provided this guide to help you find the best solution in determining whether or not you or a loved one may benefit from in-home care.

First Steps to Finding Out If Someone You Love Needs In-Home Care: 

With more than 12 million Americans receiving some form of home care, it’s important you know for sure what the term “in-home care” really means. We define it as any non-medical assistance that is provided in a home setting. We work with individuals, couples, families, and groups and a snapshot of our services range is: 

  • Meal preparation
  • Transportation for errands and appointments
  • Medication reminders (we can also administer, with family agreement)
  • Laundry
  • Light housekeeping
  • Feeding
  • Basic care for pets
  • Bathing
  • Transferring
  • Toileting
  • Incontinence care
  • Taking of vitals
  • Basic wound care (according to your instructions)

Just as important as understanding what in-home care is, it’s also important to understand the difference between in-home care and home healthcare. While in-home care is non-medical assistance, home healthcare is strictly for those who require medical attention at home, such as physical therapy, oxygen support, or intravenous medicines.

What Are the Early Signs That In-Home Care Is Needed?

You must pay attention. It can be a tough question, and you may be closer to an answer than you realize simply by taking note of recent behaviors of your loved one. There are a number of early signs that can help you determine whether or not in-home care is needed. Take note of any of the following behaviors:

– Accidents: Accidents such as falling or tripping around the house? Or driving accidents, such as fender benders or sideswiping the curb? An increased occurrence of accidents might mean that there’s an issue with mobility and/or passageways in the home. In-home care could address these issues and devise a plan for how to minimize accidents.

– Eating Habits: Have you noticed your loved one’s eating habits have changed? Eating has become more or less frequent, there has been a loss of appetite, or meals are completely missed without notice? Weight loss or gain can also be a key to a change in eating habits and may be the result of another underlying health issue such as depression.

An in-home care service could maintain healthy eating habits and ensure meals aren’t being missed. And, if a change in eating habits is a symptom of a larger issue such as depression, an in-home care service worker could be the first to identify and alert family members.

– Personal Hygiene: Has there been a noticeable change in personal hygiene, i.e. wearing dirty clothes, not bathing, brushing teeth/hair, and/or neglected open cuts/sores? A decline in personal hygiene could be the result of a number of issues, including early Alzheimer’s or depression.

Having in-home care can help ensure the individual is maintaining their personal hygiene while alerting the family if serious issues arise that could affect the individual’s short or long-term health.

– Decreased Activity: Are you noticing a decrease in activity? Are there any activities that, once habitual, have now been discarded without reason or noticeable care? Is there a decreasing desire to leave the house, either by personal vehicle or public transportation? Is there an issue with personal mobility? Are there issues with standing upright for long periods of time?

With in-home care, seniors can benefit from having someone available to help them with sitting, standing and walking. If seniors are uncomfortable driving themselves or taking public transportation, in-home care can provide transportation to their intended destinations, whether that’s the grocery store, church or family member’s home.

– Housekeeping: Have you noticed the housekeeping seems to have declined? Are there noticeable changes in the way the house is cleaned, i.e. hard-to-reach areas are purposely passed over or completely ignored? Are there growing signs of neglect, such as piles of dirt or dust, stains, spills and/or cobwebs?

In-home care can ensure that housekeeping chores get done and can assist the individual in completing housekeeping tasks. 

– Social Life: Are friends and acquaintances coming around less often? Does it seem like there is no excitement or desire to socialize outside of the home or at all? Another benefit of in-home care is the companionship that grows between the in-home care worker and the individual receiving care.

– Pets and Plants: Are there signs of neglect when inspecting household plants and/or pets? With plants, are most or all of them wilting and/or dead? With pets, does the animal seem as if it hasn’t been groomed in a while? Do you notice any kind of immediate issue with the animal’s mobility, sight or hearing? Does the pet look meager or, conversely, overfed?

In-home care can help assist seniors with caring for their plants and/or pets, especially since both can have positive impacts on the mental and emotional wellbeing of the individual.

These are just a few examples of the early signs in-home care might be needed, but they aren’t the only ones. If you are in doubt, we can help you access the situation to offer you even more insight on the care needs of your elderly loved ones.

Williams Loving Care Loves Your Family Like Their Own

If you are dealing with these types of tough questions about in-home care, Williams Loving Care is here to help you find the right answers for you and your family in the Alabama and Mississippi area. At Williams Loving Care, we strive to provide the best personal care possible in the comfort of the individual’s own home and we love your family members like they are our own. Each of our caregivers are highly trained, thoroughly evaluated, and are caring individuals ready to help you and your family.

Our in-home care can also benefit new moms, family members recovering from accidents or injury, and parents raising children with autism or that have other specialized care needs. In these situations, just having some extra help and support from time to time can be critical for the family’s health and happiness, while reducing stress.

All of our services can help you and your loved ones lead a happier, more comfortable lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about our in-home care services and how we can provide skilled care to help you live independently in your own home.