7 Signs It’s Time to Consider a Caregiver for Your Loved One

Bringing a caregiver into the home for your loved one can be stressful. There is a lot to consider, but the hardest part is usually admitting that your loved one can no longer care for themselves the way they used to and need additional support.

How do you know that it is time? Use this checklist as a guideline and ask yourself the following:

  • Personal Care
    • Are they taking care of themselves?
    • Are they bathing regularly?
    • Are they brushing their teeth regularly?
    • Is their hair washed and brushed?
    • Do they constantly wear the same outfit?
    • Are their clothes in good, clean condition, washed and mended if necessary?
  • Home Cleanliness & Safety
    • Are the dishes piled up in the sink?
    • Is there laundry in the basket or forgotten in the machine (more than normal procrastination, because, hey, we are all guilty of that)?
    • Is there an excessive number of items not put away that create a trip hazard?
    • Are the newspapers piling up outside?
    • Is the mail being taken in?
  • Medications
    • Does it seem like your loved one is taking all their medications at the correct time?
    • Are there extra pills in the bottles or the pillbox?
    • Are medications renewed and picked up from the pharmacy?
    • Are there any new side effects from medications that are not being mentioned?
  • Mental Health
    • Is your loved one stay connected with family and friends?
    • Are they keeping their regular social schedule?
    • Have they stopped doing activities they used to enjoy?
    • If you don’t live with them, what do they do throughout the day? Are they engaging in meaningful activities?
    • Are they in a funk?
    • Are they forgetting things? Are they keeping their appointments?
    • Is taking care of your loved one taking a toll on others?
    • Is there bickering and/or resentment among the family?
  • Physical Abilities
    • Does your loved one get around the house as well as they used to?
    • Do they drag their feet or have “near miss” trips where they catch themselves?
    • Do they have trouble getting out of a chair or bed?
    • Do they have unexplained injuries such as cuts or bruises that they explain away as nothing or can’t explain?
    • Any recent falls?
  • Driving
    • Are there new dents or dings in the car? Do the stories connected to these seem to make sense?
    • Take frequent rides with your loved one to make sure they are still safe to be on the road—can they see the street signs and obey the rules of the road?
    • Do they have any tickets (check the glove box)?
    • Are there any medications that may impede their reaction time or judgment on the road?
    • Does your loved one avoid going out? Are they afraid to drive?
  • Nutrition
    • Has your loved one lost or gained weight?
    • Not feeling hungry?
    • Did not feel like cooking?
    • Does not want to bother you to pick them up something?
    • Have they lost interest in food?
    • Is there enough food in the home?
    • Is the food in the home being eaten?

If you answer yes to several of these, perhaps it is time to consult with a professional caregiver who can give you peace of mind that your loved one can remain safe, happy and healthy at home.


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