6 Signs Your Loved One’s Needs Are Changing … And What to Do Next
It can often be hard to tell when aging is affecting a family member. Don’t ignore the warning signs, because small things can add up to a larger challenge incredibly fast.
If you notice certain changes in your loved one, it might be time to seek outside help. These could include:
- Changes in relationships with family and friends.
- Withdrawal from social interactions.
- Changes in behaviour, such as increased agitation/irritability, repetitive conversations, speaking loudly or little talking at all.
- Neglecting personal care, such as hygiene or nutrition.
- Signs of forgetfulness, such as piles of unopened letters, things in the wrong place, unwashed laundry and dirty pans or dishes.
- Mismanagement of finances, such as unpaid bills or unusual purchases.
You can download a free checklist that dives deeper into some of the behaviours to look for.
Assessing the situation
If you notice changes, it’s time to begin to look at your loved ones needs to help decide the best course of action for them and your family.
Download a copy of the Home Safety Checklist and the Needs Assessment Worksheet here.
These documents will help you understand the most urgent needs for your loved one.
Tip: At this point it may be a good idea to reach out to a Care Planner to discuss your concerns and give any guidance your family might need. Call 1-855-983-4663 to get in touch with your own personal (and free of charge) Care Planner.
Discussing with your loved one and family
Next, it is recommended to have a family meeting (or more) to solidify next steps.
Concern about your loved ones daily safety and comfort may be overwhelming at times. The subject can be difficult to broach, and you may not feel comfortable initiating a conversation about it. If you feel this way, you are not alone.
Communication barriers are a real challenge for family caregivers. Conflicts within the family and communication gaps with healthcare providers can lead to frustration and stress in the caregiving cycle. So how do you initiate an effective conversation about the matter?
Our RightConversations guide is a practical guide for families with practical tips and ideas for effective communication about changing needs. The suggestions in the guide will help your loved one remain at home safely and for as long as possible while reducing the stresses that often accompanies family caregiving. You can download the guide here.
Working together – Divide and conquer
Define who will be helping with all aspects of your loved ones needs. This may mean check-ins, household duties, or personal care. It is important that you, your family and loved one all agree on who will help with each task. As a starting point the RightConversations Family Action Planner is a great way to get people thinking about all the things that need to be done.
When it comes to supporting a loved one, consider a few things.
- How much help is needed? What is needed?
- What family members / trusted friends can realistically help out?
- Where are the gaps between needs and the support our family can provide, and how can we get help for this gap?
This third point is where government home care services and private home care services come in. It is very common for families to engage what the government will provide, and also reach out to private outside support for the extra support needed.
There are so many options and ways of keeping your loved one safe and keeping family all on the same page. Questions about how the government and private services work together? Call a Care Planner at Right at Home. We are experts and there is no cost for consultation so ask us anything! Your Care Planner is very knowledgeable in local services and works with families just like yours to help guide them the best solution. We are here to help!
Call 1-855-983-4663 to get in touch with your own personal (and free of charge) Care Planner or visit https://www.rightathomecanada.com/contact to request a specific call back time.
Right at Home is one of Canada’s leading Home Care Providers. We offer a wide range of services from companionship all the way up to Nursing support in home, wherever home is to you. Our mission is simply to improve the quality of life of those we serve. Every day we focus on that mission and delivering excellence for both our clients and our team members. Our work matters, our clients matter and we’re proud to have served tens of thousand of Canadians.