Have you been thinking that maybe it’s time to get your parents some additional support at home? You could be correct, and it’s completely understandable if you’re still on the fence about it.

It can be challenging to tell for sure whether extra care is necessary. However, a few signs will help you know if it’s time to get home help for the elderly. Let’s go over some common indicators.

Home Help for the Elderly: What Are the Signs?

You’ll notice changes that may indicate that your loved one needs an extra hand around the home. Here’s what you need to keep an eye on.

Difficulty performing simple daily tasks

  • Bathing and grooming
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Continence
  • Walking
  • Eating and drinking

Changes in physical appearance

  • Extreme weight loss may be due to difficulty cooking, eating, etc.
  • Wearing soiled clothing due to difficulties dressing
  • Poor personal hygiene and unpleasant body odour
  • Unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, or poor oral hygiene
  • Bruises, wounds or other marks on the body

Changes in behaviour and mental status

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Difficulty keeping track of time
  • Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
  • Increased agitation
  • Verbally or physically abusive behaviours
  • Insomnia or excess sleeping
  • Forgetfulness or memory loss
  • Increased confusion
  • Loss of reasoning skills
  • Repetitive speech patterns

It can be challenging to pick up on all of these signs. However, remember that all these things don’t have to be occurring for you to realise that your loved one may need aged care assistance at home.

You need to stay alert if your aging parent goes off their regular daily patterns or can’t uphold everyday habits. For instance, if your parent has always insisted on good grooming but suddenly has poor personal hygiene and unpleasant body odour, this can indicate difficulty performing simple daily tasks.

Other Times Home Support Might Be Needed

Besides the above indicators, some circumstances could require you to set up help for seniors at home.

Support with daily activities

When your parent is weak due to the progression of an illness or age-related condition, they’ll undoubtedly need extra help at home. It’s also helpful when your loved one has a chronic disease or severe illness. This allows your parent to continue living independently in their home while getting the support they need.

After the death of a spouse

When a loved one loses their spouse, living alone can be difficult, and the mourning may make it difficult to continue taking care of themselves. Support services for the elderly at home to help with meals, household chores, or driving will be necessary at such a time.

When a caregiver needs a break

Sometimes the primary caregiver may need some time to take a vacation, tend to their sick child, or simply need to take a few days to rest and recharge. Find someone else to provide help for seniors at home to ensure your loved one goes on receiving the care they need.

After a severe medical episode

Home help for the elderly is of great use after a loved one has suffered a severe medical episode, such as major surgery, heart attack, stroke, or bad fall. Home assistance helps in recovery and rehabilitation following discharge.

What Home Support Services Are Available?

The Australian government provides funded home help for the elderly through Home Care Package (HCP). You can sign up your parent for a home care package if they have more complex care needs or need help with everyday tasks but aren’t ready to move into an aged care home.

When you sign up your loved one for Home Care Package services, you’ll be expected to pay a couple of fees:

  • Basic daily fee ($11.02): A daily fee is charged based on the home care package level you choose.
  • Income-tested care fee ($31.63): The income-tested care fee is determined by Services Australia after a formal income assessment.
  • Additional fees: You can pay additional fees to get your loved one some extra care and services that the Home Care Package doesn’t otherwise cover.

Visit My Aged Care to apply for home support services for your parents or apply through a referral from a hospital or their GP.

For many families, getting senior help allows their aging loved ones to continue living in the comfort of their own houses for as long as safely possible. Use our guide to determine whether it’s time to hire some help for your parent so you can offer them the care they deserve.

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Hi, I hope you found this article useful.

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Thanks - Shane