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Knowing When to Hire a Caregiver

July 5, 2022

Making the decision to hire a caregiver for your elderly parent is a difficult one to come to. What’s more difficult is deciding when to hire a caregiver in the first place. When we regularly see an elderly loved one, it can be difficult to notice signs of degradation until they’ve progressed quite far.

Some think that they shouldn’t hire an in-home caregiver until things have taken a sharp decline, but that’s not necessarily the case. Home care workers can provide whatever level of care your elderly parent requires—whether it’s just one thing or a little of everything. It may be time to hire an in-home caregiver when you start to notice these key signs.

A lack of personal hygiene

A decline in personal hygiene care is one of the most easily recognizable signs that a family member requires help. Body odor, bad breath, and an overall lack of grooming can be a sign that personal care has grown to be difficult for your elderly loved one.

Wearing the same clothes every day, avoiding showering, and other grooming issues might not seem like a too serious problem, but they can be. Given all of the bacteria we come into contact with on a day-to-day basis, poor personal care can directly impact the health of your loved one.

Decline in home life                    

Maintaining one’s home can be difficult for just about anyone, especially seniors. Day-to-day tasks one does around the home aren’t quite so simple for seniors anymore. Many tire from exerting themselves too much. Keeping up with cleaning, getting groceries, maintaining the clutter, laundry and other chores can be quite difficult as a result.

A decline in one’s quality of life at home can cause them to not prepare meals like they once did and even struggle with mobility due to clutter or mess.

Unpaid bills

A misplaced bill can cause a ripple effect of problems for your elderly loved one. Missed bills can result in a late payment fee at best, and issues like power being cut at worst. Many seniors find themselves overwhelmed by a lofty stack of mail, or simply forget it’s there. It may be helpful to have someone sort through their mail to ensure nothing is missed.

Loneliness and signs of depression

A lack of mobility can severely limit the amount of social interaction seniors have—especially those who live alone. Whether it’s due to work or other life obligations, chances are, you can’t be physically present for your elderly loved one at all times. A lack of community and conversation can lead a senior to feel isolated and depressed.

Depression manifests in physical signs as well as mental. Watch your loved one for restlessness, increased fatigue, moving/speaking slowly, increased confusion, and unexplained weight gain or loss.

You’re experiencing caregiver burnout

For those who have been caring for their elderly loved one for quite some time, burnout is a common problem. Due to a sense of obligation, many caregivers try to push through burnout to the detriment of their health.

This not only negatively affects your life but your loved one’s, as burnout impacts the care you give. Don’t let it get to this point. Hiring an in-home care professional for respite care will help relieve your stress and provide your loved one the home care services they need.

Approaching your loved one about hiring a caregiver

This isn’t a pleasant conversation for anyone to have, but it is important to discuss hiring a caregiver before a crisis occurs. When you’re ready to have this conversation, keep these tips in mind.

  •  Discuss what you’ve observed and why it’s a problem. Use concrete examples instead of vague ones so they can better understand why their behavior is concerning.
  • Explain how this will be beneficial to both of you. Your loved one can maintain their independence, and you will be able to manage your stress levels.
  • Don’t infantilize them. Talking down to them will insult than rather than make them understand.

Our in-home care workers will provide your loved one not only the personal care they need to remain physically healthy, but the companion care they need to remain emotionally healthy. For more than 25 years, our staff has helped seniors across Chicagoland have a better quality of life. We work with the family to determine what type of care your loved one needs. Call us at 773-274-9262 to learn more about our home care services.

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