Helping a loved one make the transition into residential care is never easy. But one of the hardest aspects can be judging the right time for it to happen, for them and for you. So it’s important to know the signs that someone would benefit from residential care.
1. Increased falls and injuries
Falls and other accidents should put you on alert that your loved one may be struggling at home. This is especially the case if they are occurring during day-to-day activities, such as going to the bathroom, or making a cup of tea. Keep an eye out, too, for any injuries they may try to hide from you.
2. Personal hygiene starts to suffer
A decrease in a person’s level of personal hygiene is a common indicator that they are struggling to look after themselves. It can also indicate a decline in their mood and mental health, which is important to consider.
3. Altered eating habits
If an elderly friend or relation has always enjoyed cooking from scratch, but is becoming more dependent on microwave meals, take note. Eating three meals a day is essential for health and wellbeing, so it’s a problem if your loved one is failing to eat enough. This could indicate a reduced ability to cope with the demands of food preparation, as well as potential unhappiness.
4. Failure to take medication
If unused medication is starting to stack up, this is a strong sign that a person needs more support. Whether it is down to increasing forgetfulness, a lack of trust in the medication or a sense of hopelessness, professional help is needed.
5. Heightened anxiety or requests for help
A person’s dependance levels will change, but if you are constantly receiving more phone calls from them – especially at night – or they are voicing anxieties about their situation, take it seriously. It often means the time has come for residential care.
6. Increased forgetfulness or confusion
Take careful note of your loved one’s mental state and how it changes. If they are forgetting more than usual, or becoming confused about simple things, it is likely that they need additional support.
7. Reduced social interaction
Becoming withdrawn and lacking interest in social situations could be a sign of cognitive decline, or worsening physical condition. It can also indicate depression, and should be taken seriously as a sign that someone might need to go into residential care.
8. They are relying more and more on domiciliary carers
A significant increase in the number of hours a person requires professional assistance suggests that home may not be the best place for them any more.
9. You are struggling to cope with the demands of care
Consider your own situation. Is helping to care for your loved one taking its toll on your own health, or leaving you struggling with other commitments? If so, it’s time to make a change.
10. You think they need to move into residential care
Don’t ignore your gut instinct. If you feel that current arrangements are no longer in their best interests, don’t delay.
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