Everyone gets older. No matter what serums or creams you use, you simply can’t stop the aging process. As we age, the body begins to break down. Again, this is inevitable. Due to genetics, the environment, and activities, some people are going to start dealing with the challenges that come with aging sooner than others. When your parent or other loved one reaches an age where their body is starting to fail, they may need a little extra care to continue to thrive and remain safe.
This care can come in several different forms. In some cases, you may be able to provide them with everything they need. Your loved one may only need a little help with chores like mowing the lawn, changing lightbulbs, and cleaning the gutters on their house. They may be able to continue doing basic, daily tasks on their own.
On the other hand, they may need someone to help them every day with things such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. While you may be able to help them with some of these tasks, you also have your own life you have to see to. You may not have time to provide care for them every day. That’s where Reliant Home Care Services can help. We can work with you to arrange care for your loved one as often or as little as you need it. Our adult care services range from helping with all daily tasks to providing the occasional respite care.
Recognizing the Signs of Aging and the Need for Adult Care Services
It can be difficult to recognize when your loved one needs help, especially if they have always been self-reliant and rarely asked for help. However, there are some signs that it’s time to consider adult care services. If your loved one is no longer as mobile as they once were, it can be dangerous for them to try to clean the tops of shelves or get on a stepstool to change lightbulbs. If you notice that they constantly forget events and other information, it can be a sign that they’re developing a cognitive issue such as dementia. These conditions are just as serious as physical ones and often require daily in-home care.
Another challenge that often comes with aging is recognizing when something is the result of getting older and when it’s a sign of a more serious health condition. Forgetting something every now and then may not be something to worry about, but when your loved one is often forgetful, especially if they typically aren’t, it’s something to be concerned about. Another example is with joint pain and immobility. Older individuals are likely to suffer from arthritis, but if your loved one suddenly can’t lift their foot more than a few inches, it’s time to see the doctor.
Sometimes the signs of serious conditions aren’t as dramatic or as noticeable. Sometimes, these conditions come on very slowly, and even a doctor may not catch them if they aren’t told about different episodes. You should encourage your loved one to write down any unusual issues and share them with their doctor. Sometimes it takes seeing an established pattern of physical or mental symptoms to make a diagnosis.
The Emotional Impact of Aging on Families
When a loved one begins dealing with a physical or mental complication brought on by aging, many people focus entirely on them. They work to make certain their loved one is comfortable and that all of their physical, mental, and emotional needs are met. They may take little, if any, time to assess how their loved one’s health challenges affect them and others.
Watching a loved one decline, however, does take a psychological and emotional toll on others. You may be so focused on taking care of them that you don’t stop and take care of yourself. You may also not have the words to express what’s happening to your loved one to your children. They may see their beloved grandparent turn into a person who doesn’t recognize them or can’t play with them like they’re used to. They won’t understand what’s happening unless you explain it in a way that makes sense to them.
Just having these conversations can be emotional, so it’s important that you take the time to allow yourself to be upset, angry, and sad about the situation. Seeing your parents or other close family member deteriorate is difficult, and you’re going to feel a range of emotions while also trying to take care of them. There will be times when you do need to set these emotions aside so you can make rational decisions about their care, but you also need to let yourself sit with your feelings and acknowledge them. Doing so will actually help you take better care of your loved one.
What Are Adult Care Services?
Adult care services is an umbrella term that can cover a lot of different things. When most people think of these services, they picture someone coming to help their loved ones bathe, dress, and do other basic tasks. That is often included in adult care services, but there are other things these professionals can do, too. These services may include light housekeeping such as vacuuming and dusting, reminders to take medication on the prescribed schedule, assistance with getting to doctor’s appointments, and providing stimulating conversation to keep your loved one engaged and mentally active.
Adult care services are typically tailored to the specific needs of your loved one. Those with mobility issues may request services that include helping them stand or get out of bed. Those with dementia may have a care provider who helps them keep a calendar of important dates and a list of names and their relationship with those individuals. Some caregivers may help prepare meals that meet dietary requirements or keep a close watch on what snacks your loved one eats.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, adult care services cover respite care. If you’re the primary care provider for your loved one, you may need to help them every day. You may not always have time to go to your own appointments or take care of your own errands. Respite care provides you with time to do these things while your loved one is under the care of a trained expert. It gives you time to recharge and take a short break, which everyone needs from time to time.
Choosing the Right Care Service
Once you’ve recognized the signs of aging in your loved one and have determined what kind of help they need, it’s time to find a care service. While there are many out there, they’re not all the same. Some may not provide the type of help your loved one needs, while others may not fit your schedule or your budget. As unfortunate as it is, money can play a part in the care your loved one receives. Fortunately, there are financial resources out there that you may be able to tap to help you cover these costs. You will want to start with your loved one’s health insurance, then look at other resources such as those for people struggling with specific conditions or who live in specific areas.
Location and availability are other factors you’ll want to keep in mind. You will need to find a care provider that is available when you need them. If you have to schedule a provider a week or more in advance, what will you do if you wake up sick and can’t be around your loved one? You want to be certain you plan for these situations as well as regular care.
Finally, be certain to read reviews and learn more about the provider before you sign any contracts. You want to make certain you’re working with a reputable service. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and it’s okay to talk to several providers before making your final decision. You’re entrusting your loved one’s care to others, and you should be fully comfortable doing so.
The Role of Reliant Home Care in Adult Care
Reliant Home Care understands what you’re entrusting us with. That’s why we are grateful for the chance to work with you and to get to know your loved one. We offer a wide range of in-home services, including help with daily tasks, light housekeeping, transportation, medication reminders, and respite care. Our care providers understand how to help those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, plus we work closely with Veterans and are familiar with their unique needs.
Whether you’re in need of respite care for a few days a month or are seeking in-home care providers to work with your loved one every day, Reliant has you covered. In addition to providing in-home care, our team has many resources that can help you better understand what your loved one is going through and learn more about the resources available for their care. Reach out today to talk to one of our care coordinators and to learn more about in-home care and Reliant’s approach to it.