(HealthNewsDigest.com) - When an elderly loved one is no longer able to care for him or herself, the burden often falls on the family. An aging parent or grandparent will not always ask for additional help, and so it is up to family members to recognize that loved ones need assistance.
"We can't always rely on our elderly loved ones to communicate their concerns with us," says Sharon Roth Maguire, geriatric nurse practitioner and Senior Vice President of Quality and Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care®. "There are signs that will help you recognize when a family member needs a little more help and in-care assistance can often ease the burden."
Maguire says these five signs indicate it might be time to get professional help for your elderly loved one:
Confusion Over Medications: As family members age, memory loss should be considered a red flag. Your loved ones confusion over daily tasks, especially medication management, should be a cause for concern. If a grandparent or parent is forgetting to take medications or taking double doses, it may be time to consider an in-home nurse. This is one of the most important signs to look for as medication mismanagement can contribute to worsening confusion and a host of other concerning health outcomes including full blown medical crises.
No Longer Able to Drive: Physical and mental decline might prohibit loved ones from doing the things they normally do, including driving a car. If your loved one is missing doctor's appointments or unable to make it to family occasions, this might be a sign they are in need of extra care.
Inability to Manage Finances: Maintaining finances are difficult enough as it is, and when aging family members are unable to take care of their financial obligations there can be repercussions. If you notice large piles of unsorted mail, bills piling up, or debt collectors leaving messages, it may be time to consider an in-home nurse who can evaluate your loved one's cognitive status and medication regimen to see if there are any health related concerns that may be interfering with their ability to manage their own finances.
The House is a Mess: Physical challenges, pain, or depression may limit ability to clean and organize, and this will be apparent when your loved one can't maintain a tidy home. Dishes in the sink, spoiled food in the refrigerator, piles of dirty laundry and extreme clutter might be a sign it's time to think about getting professional help.
Infrequent bathing: If you notice your loved one has not been bathing or showering as often as usual, it might be because of physical hardship, depression, or memory loss. This is a sign that your family member needs a little extra help with daily tasks, and in-home assistance could be the solution.
About BrightStar Care®:
Founded in 2002 as a family business, BrightStar Care® provides the full continuum of homecare and childcare, including pediatric, adult and elder care, newborn care, babysitter, and nanny services. BrightStar delivers skilled person-centered care to clients one-on-one in their home or wherever and whenever they need care through its more than 250 independently owned and operated locations nationwide. The Gurnee, Illinois, based company also offers medical staffing services for individuals, families, healthcare facilities, and anywhere healthcare staff is needed. For more information, visit them online at www.BrightStarCare.com, on Facebook at "BrightStar Care" or on Twitter @brightstarcare.
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