Signs That a Loved One Might Need More Care at Home

Published: 22/05/2019

How can you tell when someone might need more care to manage daily living at home? Here are a few signs to look out for.

With many people visiting elderly relatives over the festive season, it’s a time when some may realise that their loved one might not be coping well at home. Although it can be tough to acknowledge, issues brought on by age or living with a serious health condition can make it harder for someone to take adequate care of themselves. So, when is it the right time to talk about organising care in the home? Here are a few signs that could mean it’s time to broach the subject.

Physical appearance 
Dramatic changes in weight might indicate that the person isn’t eating enough, isn’t eating a balanced diet or has an underlying health problem that’s affecting their weight. Changes in their physical strength and abilities can also indicate that they may be becoming frail. Personal hygiene is also something to keep an eye on.  Perhaps they used to be someone who took great pride in their appearance but now doesn’t brush their hair, wear clean clothes or has body odour.

Housekeeping 
Is the person’s living space clean and habitable? Lots of clutter, dirty dishes left in the sink, out of date food in the cupboards or broken appliances could mean that they’re finding cooking and cleaning harder to manage. The general upkeep of the house and garden can also give a clue as to whether life is becoming more challenging. If fixing and maintaining things in the home (even if it’s just watering the plants) has slipped down the priority list, it might be time to investigate further.
 
Money and mail 
Unopened bills, lots of junk mail, thank you letters from charities and a general chaos when it comes to paperwork could mean someone is finding it harder to deal with their financial affairs. Drained bank accounts and unpaid bills could indicate that the person is having difficulty keeping track of their money or that someone is taking advantage of them.
 
Medical problems 
If someone has a long-term condition like dementia or heart disease, keeping an eye on the progression of their illness is important. Sudden or marked changes in their health could mean they are having trouble with managing their condition or taking medication, for example. Difficulty in getting over more minor ailments, like a cold, could be a sign that someone is struggling to take care of themselves too.
 
Social life
If the person is reluctant to go out, see friends or stay in contact with others, it could indicate that something is wrong. It might be that they are having problems with depression, for example, or perhaps they are simply finding it harder to travel or get out into the community in the way they did before. Either way, it could be a sign that they need more help in that area.
 

Home Help and Companionship

We understand that making the decision to ask for more care at home is a big step to take. But finding a homecare provider who can give you or a loved one the right support could transform your quality of life. At Bluebird Care Clapham and Streatham, we know that everyone needs a helping hand at some point, that’s why we’ll be there when you need us.
 
If you or a relative would like extra care at home, get in touch to find out about our flexible homecare. We have a wide range of services, from daily welfare visits to 24-hour live-in care.
 
You can also find out more about getting a needs assessment.