As our aging loved ones begin to need more help with activities of daily living, many families find themselves wondering if it’s time to seek the help of a caregiver.
There is no straightforward answer to this as the best time to seek professional senior care will vary depending on each individual situation. However, some general guidelines can be helpful in making the decision.
You’re Experiencing Caregiver Stress or Burnout
If you’re providing elder care and starting to feel overwhelmed, then it might be time for a professional to step in and give you a break. Caregiver stress and burnout are real and can have serious consequences for your health and the health of the person you’re caring for.
Signs that you may be experiencing caregiver stress or burnout:
- You feel constantly exhausted, both physically and emotionally
- You’re having trouble sleeping or eating
- You’re easily agitated or irritable
- You’re feeling hopeless, depressed, or anxious
- You’re neglecting your own health or personal relationships
While Taking Care of Your Senior Family Member Your Personal Social Life Has Almost Ended
Taking care of a senior family member can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a lonely one. As your loved one’s primary caregiver, you may find that your personal social life has all but disappeared.
You may notice you’re not seeing your friends anymore, you don’t find any time for yourself like going on a vacation. You’re constantly at home and monitoring your loved one.
While you’re doing all of this out of love, it’s important to have a social life as well or else you’ll start developing depression, stress and anxiety. A caregiver can free up some time for you to go out and have a change of environment among friends.
They Need More Opportunities For Socializing
As people age, it becomes more difficult to get out and socialize. Their network of friends and family members gets smaller, and they may not have the same opportunities to interact with others that they did in their youth. This can lead to isolation and loneliness, which can have negative mental and physical effects.
If you’re noticing self-isolation behavior in a senior family, one way to combat this isolation is to seek out the help of a caregiver. A caregiver can provide companionship, transportation, and help with activities of daily living. They can also provide socialization opportunities for seniors who may not otherwise have the chance to interact with others.
Caregivers can help seniors participate in activities they enjoy, such as going for walks, attending social events, or even just sitting and chatting. This social interaction can help improve mental well-being and overall quality of life.
They’re Having Chronic Health Conditions or Worsening Health
If you notice increasing chronic health conditions or that the senior person’s health is deteriorating.
Chronic health conditions are long-term illnesses that can often be managed but not cured. They can make everyday activities more difficult and may require regular medical care. Some examples of chronic health conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Worsening health is another common reason why seniors might need a caregiver. As we age, it’s not uncommon for our health to decline. This can make performing everyday tasks more difficult and may eventually require help from someone else.
If you’re a senior who is struggling with chronic health conditions or worsening health, it’s important to seek out the help of an in home care provider. A caregiver can provide the assistance you need to manage your condition and maintain your quality of life.
They’re Having Difficulty With Activities of Daily Living
As we age, it becomes more challenging to do the things we once took for granted. Even basic tasks like getting out of bed, bathing, and dressing can become daunting. When seniors find themselves struggling with activities of daily living, they may need home care services.
There are some key considerations to look at before you decide to hire a caregiver. First, take an honest assessment of your loved one’s needs. If they have difficulty with multiple activities of daily living, a caregiver can provide much-needed assistance.
Additionally, think about your loved one’s personality and whether they would be receptive to help from a stranger. If they are independent and prideful, they may resist assistance at first. In this case, having a caregiver come in for a few hours daily to help with specific tasks may be the best approach.
Finally, consider your own availability and ability to provide care. If you live far away and that’s preventing you from being able to provide regular assistance, hiring a caregiver may be the best option.
They’re Having Difficulty Maintaining Hygiene
As we age, it becomes more difficult to maintain our hygiene. We may not be able to reach certain areas of our body, or we may have trouble with our balance. This can make seniors feel embarrassed and like they are a burden to their loved ones. They can even slip in the shower and seriously injure themselves.
If you have noticed that your elderly loved one is having difficulty maintaining their hygiene, it is essential to seek the help of a caregiver. A caregiver can help them with activities such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. They can also provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and other errands.
It is important to choose a caregiver who is compassionate and patient. They should also be someone who your loved one can feel comfortable with.
Their Physician Has Recommended Assisted Living
When a physician recommends that a senior seek the help of a caregiver, it is usually because they feel that the individual can no longer care for themselves properly. This could be due to a decline in physical or mental health or both. In some cases, the physician may recommend a specific type of care, such as assisted living.
If you think some or most of these factors apply to your situation, it might be time to consider professional caregiving assistance. Don’t wait until you’re completely overwhelmed before seeking assistance. Remember, the sooner you seek help, the better.
If you’re not sure whether or not professional caregiving is right for your family, we encourage you to reach out to a licensed care coordinator. They can help assess your loved one’s needs and create a customized care plan that meets those needs.