Five Signs Your Parents Need Extra Support

Signs Your Parents Need Help at Home

Happy Kingsway Care Client and CareGiver

Tips and Advice

Noticing one of your parents or a loved one may be struggling with daily tasks at home is common after spending time together during the festive holidays. Probably the next most common problem is delicately initiating the subject of home care with a loved one that may be resistant to change.

They don’t want to lose their independence or to be a burden on their adult children, so may say everything is fine until a crisis happens, such as a fall, stroke, heart attack or sudden illness that requires time in hospital. That’s usually when a concerned family member will phone us for help. We’re experts in helping families navigate their way through finding home care that’s right for them. They are frequently surprised how much home care visits can have a positive impact on their loved one’s physical and mental wellbeing.

We’ve identified the top five signs one of your parents or loved one may need extra support to stay living in their own home and provided tips and advice for how to tackle each issue. The success stories highlight how small changes can have a positive impact.

1. Decline in Personal Hygiene

If you notice a significant decline in your parents’ personal hygiene, such as irregular bathing, grooming, or oral care, it may be a sign that they need additional assistance.

Tips and advice

It’s a big psychological change for someone to acknowledge they are getting older and may need more support with daily routines such as bathing. They could be resistant to accepting help or deny there is a problem. In this situation, Kingsway Care would recommend starting slowly with general companionship, helping with meal preparation and light housework and building up a rapport. This can take weeks or months before they are comfortable with somebody else helping them with personal hygiene.

Kingsway CareGivers are sensitive to how Clients feel and will always treat them with dignity and respect. Simple things can help their privacy such as keeping the bedroom or bathroom door closed and the blinds down while they undress and providing a dressing gown or towel so they don’t have to be naked for any longer than necessary. Bed washes can be done while keeping the towel in strategic places and talking to them to distract them and make them feel less uncomfortable.

Success Story: A Client that was reluctant to accept any help with personal hygiene, will now accept help bathing after one of our CareGivers spent months building up a rapport and gaining her trust.

2. Unexplained Weight Loss

Sudden or unexplained weight loss can indicate difficulty with meal preparation or a decline in the ability to shop for groceries. This can trigger the family to be concerned for their loved one’s welfare and call a home care provider for help.

Tips and Advice

If the loved one has recently been discharged from hospital it is common to notice weight loss or if the person has dementia, they may simply forget to eat. When discussing home care visits, we would ask when they would prefer their main meal of the day and plan the home visit for the lunch or evening depending on their preference.

Kingsway CareGivers are trained to prepare healthy, simple food like eggs or sardines on toast while paying attention to food hygiene and personal preferences. Quite often, the Client will say they don’t have an appetite and don’t want to eat anything.

Success Story: One of our Clients has a loss of appetite but we go ahead with meal preparation anyway. She usually says, ‘ooh, that smells lovely’ and then eats the meal.

3. Limited Mobility

Difficulty moving around the house, getting in and out of bed, or using the bathroom can be a clear indicator that additional support is needed for daily living.

Unless you have witnessed it yourself, it’s difficult to appreciate how difficult once simple tasks can become when mobility declines. Even hanging up the telephone can require a lot of physical exertion. People who were once independent can’t believe they need help while others except it with good grace.

Tips and Advice

Kingsway Care would seek to understand which daily activities have become difficult e.g. going up and down stairs, getting in or out of a chair and/or bed and if there is any equipment that could help them maintain their independence such as a walking frame. We would also recommend asking your GP for a referral to an Occupational Therapist to do an assessment, as they can help order funded specialist equipment such as wheelchairs, walking frames and hospital beds.

Success Story: We have one Client that loves to have a bath but struggled to get in and out of it. We ordered an inflatable bath cushion that can gently lower her in and out of the bath. On each home care visit she always asks ‘can I have a bath now?’

4. Forgetfulness and Medication Mismanagement

If your parents struggle to remember to take medications or display signs of forgetfulness, having a home care provider can ensure medication adherence and proper management of healthcare routines.

This is one of the most common reasons family phone us for help. They have noticed that somebody that has managed their medications all their life may now be forgetting to take them or take too much at once or not at the right time. The loved one may not one to relinquish their medication management which could lead to serious complications and hospital admission.

Tips and Advice

Kingsway Care use the secure OpenPass App to make detailed notes of each task completed and medication taken during each home care visit. With the Client’s permission, the notes can be shared with the Client’s friends and family and even GP, providing peace of mind. In addition, Kingsway Care do a weekly audit for each Client’s meds to ensure repeat prescriptions are picked up on time.

Success Story: We have a Client with Parkinson’s, taking 14 time sensitive tablets a day. The house was littered with tablets on every table, shelf and floor. The meds weren’t being taken at the right time so his symptoms weren’t being managed as well as they could have been. There was resistance to letting us help with the medication management but now that we do, the Client is on an even keel with the symptoms under control.

5. Fatigue and Lack of Energy

Chronic fatigue or a noticeable lack of energy may suggest that daily tasks are becoming overwhelming. Home care providers can assist with chores and activities, alleviating physical strain.

Tips and Advice

Fatigue is a natural part of ageing so we will let Clients sleep if they need it. During the home care visit we’ll see if we can help a bit more around the house. For example, the vacuum may be too heavy for the Client to lift or standing up to prepare food can take a lot of energy so our CareGiver’s will step in to help.

Success Stories: One Client loves to cook but finds it difficult to bend down and lift things in and out of the oven. During home care visits we still have fun preparing her favourite dishes, while stepping in to help with the physical load.

Peace of Mind

Recognizing these signs early can help initiate a conversation about the need for additional support at home. Introducing a home care provider can enhance the quality of life for your parents and provide peace of mind for the entire family.

Kingsway Care is only a phone call or email away if you’re looking for home care in Brighton & Hove and surrounding areas. Telephone 01273 077444 or email info@kingswaycare.com

Related Posts