Did you know that at least 17% of the U.S. population has provided care for someone 50 or older….unpaid? This is often an adult that provides care for an older family member because they need help in or out of their home or simply because they are family. A lot of the time though, there are better ways to get the care that you might need without putting too much on family members, friends, or yourself.
At a point where you’re considering if you need a bit more help than you once you did, it can be overwhelming. Although nothing new, help is something that many of us need as we age because things may become slightly more difficult to do or just not safe to do on your own anymore like cleaning the gutters, taking on big painting projects in your home, moving furniture, handling multiple medications, or even getting in and out of the tub or shower.
Seniors may not always realize and actively address needing in-home help until it becomes necessary. Instead of waiting until something happens that could put you or others at risk of an injury, assess your situation now to better determine if you could benefit from help in your home. Help is something that everyone needs at some point and knowing when to ask for it can increase the safety of yourself, your family, your friends, and anyone else close to you.
Are You Having Difficulty With Daily Activities?
Activities of daily living refer to basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and preparing meals. If you’ve noticed that you are exhibiting difficulty with one or more of these basic tasks, it may be time to consider in-home help or a caregiver. There is nothing wrong with saying that you need help. Not only does getting the assistance you need increase your safety but it also allows you to remain independent in your home.
Are You Able to Safely and Confidently Manage Your Own Medication Regimen?
Self-administering medication is necessary for many seniors, but if you are missing doses, having difficulty remembering the correct dosages, or taking the wrong medications, it could be a sign that you require more assistance. This particular situation is something you want to pay close attention to because it can be easy to overlook an incorrect pill placement or mix up taking a night-time medication during the day.
If you struggle with keeping up with these small details, for your safety, getting in-home help or having a designated caregiver would be the best option. A caregiver can help ensure that medications are taken on time and correctly, reducing the risk of medical complications and unintended drug interactions or overdoses.
Do You Have the Energy to Maintain a Clean Space Without Help?
Cleanliness of your space can directly affect your health and believe it or not, your mood. Over time, with age, it can get harder to maintain a house, especially depending on size. When things like dust and clutter accumulate, you are at a greater risk of health concerns and even tripping hazards. If you have trouble reaching high places to dust, changing bed sheets, caring for a lawn, or reaching high places to return cleaned dishes, outsourcing help would be in your best interest.
Have You Noticed That You Are Having Difficulty With Shopping, Meal Preparation, Housekeeping, and Laundry?
It is important to consider whether you enjoy doing these things if you get tired or winded doing a lot of errands on your own, or if you simply struggle with the upkeep in general. While it is true that seniors can easily lift heavy weights, it all depends on the individual and their strength level.
Not all seniors would prefer to carry heavy groceries, drive long distances to satisfy daily schedules, or do too much cooking if they don’t have to. Having a caregiver to help with things like this can lighten your load, help you find more efficient ways to complete tasks, and allows you more time to focus on your personal wellness.
Finding That You Have Difficulty Getting Out of the House at Times?
Sometimes, as a senior, you might need that extra push when it comes to getting out of the house. Other times, you may need in-home assistance because you might have realized that you have more difficulty with getting out of the house for the day or you simply have little energy to do so. Having someone to help facilitate certain activities for you, accompany you on walks or runs, or just someone you can call when you need them can make a big difference in how we age.
Have You Ever Experienced Any Signs of Depression or Social Isolation?
Depression can affect anyone of any age but for seniors, depression can be triggered by a variety of things. Some examples could be a loss of or shift in independence, new life changes, medication side effects, and even prolonged social isolation or distance from family. Professional caregivers can help foster meaningful connections and provide a sense of purpose and security as well.
Knowing When to Ask For Help as a Senior
Making decisions regarding in-home help or getting a caregiver as a senior can be difficult and emotional if you aren’t ready to accept help from others with the things you enjoy the most. Having help, especially professional assistance, can make things more enjoyable in many cases because it makes things safer and oftentimes, easier. It’s important to recognize if you need assistance and take action when necessary. Taking the time to assess your needs and admitting when you could benefit from someone providing you with personal care can ensure that you get the help you require and lead a safe and fulfilling life.