If you begin to suspect that your elder is in need of home care – there are various things to look at before you go ahead with any decisions about the home care decisions. You can also ask a Home Care Agency to conduct a care assessment for you, and they’ll look at the following criteria. This will not only help you to decide whether your loved one needs home care, but also what type of home care they might need.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
The first thing to look at is how your elder gets on with the basic, everyday tasks involved with looking after him or herself and maintaining the household.
These activities include:
· Housework, laundry, cooking and shopping
· Personal care such as using the toilet, bathing and dressing
· Going to the doctor and taking medication
· Keeping personal finances in order
In some cases older people won’t be able to complete all of these tasks thoroughly because of either physical limitations or problems with their memory.
The next thing to look at is issues that could be affecting your loved one’s physical health. If you decide to involve a Home Care Agency, they will also want to consult with the elder’s primary care physician, or bring in their own geriatric care specialist to get an accurate evaluation.
The issues to consider include:
· Mobility – This has to do with their ability to move around safely in their own home and the neighbourhood.
· Vision – Vision impairment is a common issue with age and it can lead to many problems such as depression due to a drop in social interaction or injuries from falling.
· Hearing – Trouble with hearing is also a common issue among older adults, and it can also affect their quality of life.
Mental Health Considerations
Here it is probably best to send your loved one for a professional geriatric mental health assessment, because it can be very difficult to assess the mental health of an elder. This is because it’s not that easy to distinguish between the natural memory problems that come with age, and those that come with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The same goes for depression. There are many different factors that could be causing the symptoms, which are lack of interest and appetite and low energy.
There are several issues that make it harder for the elderly to maintain proper nutrition – such as poor health, difficulty shopping or cooking or food hoarding. Here are a few questions you need to ask about your elder’s nutrition.
· Is your elder getting the right amount of food, and the right types of food to meet daily health requirements?
· Is your elder still capable of shopping for and preparing the right foods?
· Does your elder eat the food he or she prepares or has prepared for them?
Putting together all the information gathered from these criteria can help you to make your own evaluation of whether your elderly loved one needs Home Care services – or you can get a Home Care Agency to conduct the evaluation for you and decide what the best way forward would be.