Our bodies go through lots of changes as we get older, some more noticeable than others. It's normal to feel concern for the health and wellbeing of someone you love if you notice they aren't getting around as well as they once could. It's one reason why many start to think about aged care options.
But does their new pace make them a suitable candidate for a residential aged care home? Or do they just need help around the house, in which case home care might be the better option? Here's how you can assess the signs.
The number one sign indicating your loved one might need to consider a move to a residential aged care is a fall or accident. If they have a pre-existing condition, this could mean it has taken a turn for the worse and needs closer monitoring.
Keep in mind that your loved one might not tell you they've fallen, but even stumbles can be cause for concern. If you see scrapes or bruises, make sure you ask what happened. If there’s an ongoing risk it could be time to think about the benefits offered by residential aged care.
Forgetting to call family members is one thing, but realising your loved one is forgetting to take their medication – or forgetting to turn the stove off – is a cause for greater concern. Anything that poses a serious health risk could be a sign that they’re having trouble looking after themselves and could benefit from the regular attention that aged care homes can provide.
Shortness of breath or general fatigue after walking short distances can be a sign that the person you care about is in declining health or in danger of falls. If they aren't able to get around the house safely this could keep them from truly being able to look after themselves.
Caring for an entire property can be a challenge even for younger adults. That doesn't mean they're completely incapable, however. If their significant other has passed, all of the chores fall to one person which can quickly become a burden.
In this case, home care might be the better option for them as you can customise care options, including help around the house.
Staying on top of a balanced diet can be a challenge when cooking for one, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's time for residential aged care. Home care packages also help with nutrition, providing a healthy grocery shop or meal preparation.
Your loved one may not show signs that they need someone constantly looking after them, but they can still feel apprehensive to live home alone for a number of reasons. Perhaps they miss the socialisation or they may fear falling in the home or having a medical emergency. In this instance, moving from home isn't your only solution.
Home care services include having a pastoral care worker regularly visit your home for a chat over a cup of tea, or outings with like-minded people, giving your loved one an opportunity to socialise. A personal safety alarm may help put their fears to rest and give them a way to reach out in case of an emergency. The cost of a safety alarm can also be covered by a home care package.