Opting for Aged Care for your elderly loved one is never an easy decision to make. It’s something that should be thought about, communicated, and addressed by all family members in a caring and compassionate manner.
To help you to decide on the best outcome, check for physical, mental, and emotional signs that indicate your loved one is ready for Aged Care. Listed below are the signs to look for
- Frequent Medication – If your loved one visits the hospital more often due to chronic health issues, it may be time to consider Aged Care, especially if they live alone. Having a reliable friend, family member, or care provider to depend on for appointments, whilst beneficial for their physical well-being, may not be the best solution.
- Muscle Fatigue – Frequent stumbles or falls may indicate balance issues or muscular weakness. If your senior loved one lives alone with tripping hazards in their house, and the hazards cannot be removed, they will need assistance sooner rather than later.
- Difficulty Moving – This can involve difficulties with navigating stairs, steep driveways, or large houses. For example, your loved one may struggle to climb their own front steps or feel exhausted when walking from one room to another. If you see that they are struggling with these issues, it may be time to speak with them about getting additional care.
- Forgetfulness – If your loved one is becoming increasingly forgetful, pay attention to whether this is a one off occurrence or something that happens often. After all, even simple memory lapses can significantly affect their well-being.
- Memory Loss – Older adults with mild to moderate memory loss may require assistance. Memory loss might manifest in the form of forgetting birthdays, failing to recognise familiar people, or forgetting information from prior discussions.
- Confusion – Indications such as mixing up words and having difficulty following conversations may signify a serious condition like dementia, which require long-term care. If you’re worried your elderly loved one may be experiencing this, make sure to book an appointment initially with their doctor and discuss the options that are available.
- Loneliness – Isolation may negatively impact the body and mind. Perhaps the harshest aspect of loneliness among the elderly is that they withdraw even more, isolating themselves further from their family and friends.
- Depression – The physical challenges that come with aging can substantially increase the risk of anxiety and depression. This can lead to a person withdrawing even more from society, fueling the sickness and creating a “Spiral of Depression.”
- Behavioural Changes – It might indicate sickness or sadness if your usually cheerful loved one suddenly has significant changes in their personality. Loneliness and physical or mental impairment might contribute to this.
If your elderly loved one starts to show signs of significant mental or physical distress, it’s time to start talking about more permanent care options.
Remember that as challenging as these signs may be for you to observe, they are likely much more complex for your loved one, so make sure to approach these conversations as sensitively as possible.
Make sure you check in with your loved ones if they start to display some of the symptoms mentioned here. Talk to them about the changes in their lives while being compassionate yet firm, and see if they need assistance.
For many families, deciding to move an elderly loved one to Aged Care is a highly personal and emotional choice. Homestyle Aged Care has residential homes in Victoria to provide quality Residential Aged Care accommodation and services, including respite and dementia-specific care. Contact us today to discuss the best options for you and your family.