When to know it’s time for in-home care

by | Jun 10, 2021 | Pearl Home Care | 0 comments

Ageing at home can be a positive and happy experience. Our homes aren’t just bricks and mortar. They are the places where children were raised, lasting friendships were formed, and some of life’s most significant memories were created. There’s comfort in walking familiar streets and having long-lasting, friendly neighbours. We know which shops and services are on hand, promoting much-needed security.

As we age, we may need a little more assistance to remain living independently in our own homes, so that we can continue to enjoy the comforts of our familiar surroundings.

Accepting we need help, can be difficult to admit. It is common to resist change. But avoiding change, like regular in-home care, may hold you back from enjoying your life and may increase the risk of an incident or injury.

It’s important to frame in-home care in the right way.  It isn’t about changing what is familiar to you, or saying you are no longer capable of looking after yourself.  It is about putting specific types of help in place to prevent large scale change (e.g. movement to a higher care facility).

When is the time right to get an in-home carer?

The ideal time and the types of assistance you need will differ for everyone. Some may need assistance with cleaning, small maintenance jobs, or daily tasks like shopping, paying bills, or organising appointments. For others, the time comes where help is needed with mobility and accessibility, such as day trips out of the home.

Here are 7 important questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if now is the right time to gain some extra in-home assistance:

1. Has leaving home become a challenge, including visiting local shops and the neighbourhood?

It can be sudden that daily activities require a lot of extra effort. Sometimes, finding the energy and motivation to get things done feels impossible. If this is becoming a habit, it can lead to increased time spent indoors at home – perhaps alone – and disconnection, social isolation and depression.

2. Is cleaning and maintaining your home becoming too demanding?

As we age, simple jobs that used to be easy – perhaps even enjoyable – can become tiring and difficult. We may begin to find that regular cleaning tasks, like cleaning bathroom tiles or vacuuming, aren’t being performed as often as they used to. This poses a risk to health, as the home may then become unhygienic and cluttered.

3. Have you had times where you have forgotten important things, liking taking medications?

A degree of forgetfulness can be a natural part of ageing. However, when it affects essential daily events and disrupts life, it can lead to confusion, panic or distress. Memory loss can creep up slowly or come on suddenly, including when we’re out of the home or in other unexpected ways.

It can be a loved one or family who bring memory loss to our attention. This can be a sign that help is needed around the home to ensure essential tasks, like taking medication, are not affected. An in-home carer can also assist with obtaining or providing you medical attention if you require.

4. Is an injury or pain reducing your confidence and ability to leave home?

Losing confidence in movement can come on gradually with ageing, or suddenly due to a fall or injury. Falls can have a significant impact, physically and emotionally. Nearly 30% of people over 65 experience a fall at least once a year and there’s a 22–60% chance a fall will lead to an injury, including bruises, sprains and serious hip fractures. Very quickly, a niggling pain can lead to a lack of confidence and reduced movement, making it more difficult to leave the house. At this time, trusted support can assist you to keep physically mobile and safe as you move around and enjoy activities both with and outside the home.

5. Has your partner’s health deteriorated, creating additional responsibilities for you?

The deteriorating health of a husband or wife can have an enormous impact on the carer. It can be psychologically and emotionally demanding, likened to a chronic stress condition. Alongside increased responsibility in caring for your loved one, it can also lead to decreased opportunities to leave the home. This can impact shopping for groceries, household essentials and medications, isolating you from the community, including from friends unaware of your home struggles. As it can be a very demanding time for the caregiver, accepting help around the home and with care duties can assist both people to continue enjoying life and relieve anxiety and stress in the relationship.

6. Are you experiencing loneliness?

Loneliness can be painful to accept, but is a genuine occurrence in later years. At least 13% of people over 65 years experience loneliness, and people over 75 years are more lonely than any other age group. Even with people around, we can feel lonely, especially if a life partner has gone, family are not close by, or friends are no longer here. Feelings of sorrow, sadness and disconnection can lead to health issues like depression. A regular in-home carer can make all the difference in improving the quality of life by providing connection, friendship and a helping hand.

7. Are you missing meals or struggling to keep up a healthy diet?

It’s common to lose interest in food and eating as we age. The time and energy to prepare healthy daily meals can be overwhelming, not to mention the effort in ensuring fresh food and ingredients remain stocked in the pantry. Missing meals can lead to a lack of vitamins, like vitamins A, C and D, and essential nutrients, including calcium and protein needed to promote bone and muscle mass. Missing meals can also quickly lead to lowered energy and motivation, introducing other concerns like social decline.

Alternatively, over-eating or eating high sugar and/or high saturated fat foods (like fast food) can lead to obesity or type 2 diabetes, and detrimental consequences. An in-home carer can provide assistance with the preparation of nutritious meals that are available and ready to eat.  This ensures your health remains a priority.

Deciding to welcome assistance into the home can be a positive and uplifting decision. We shouldn’t need to struggle as we age, and staying at home and maintaining our independence can be achieved when help is there to support.

Having a regular visitor to the home can be a trusted way to keep on top of life’s daily tasks, without losing independence. An in-home carer can assist with ensuring there is food in the fridge, cleaning and home maintenance are up-to-date, medication schedules and appointments being adhered to, or bills and services are paid and in order.  It also brings peace of mind knowing that a friendly person is checking in regularly and consistently, which is just as important for those living with a loved one as those living alone.

As in-home care is delivered in different ways, there are solutions to help with any number of individual situations. It also means it’s never too soon to start, as having a carer connection early means they are a part of life’s journeys and ready to support in whatever may evolve.

Do you need help making the decision for in-home care for you or a loved one? Contact Pearl Home Care today and let one of our friendly staff talk you through options, create a plan that will make a difference today and into the future, and guide you through applying for government assistance.



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