Sometimes a loved one’s need for help is sudden and obvious. Keeping a loved one in their home can be challenging if they need daily help with some tasks. There are services to make this challenge a little easier. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Adult day care facilities offer meals, activities, companionship and some medical care.
- Service programs that send volunteers age 55 and older to visit elderly individuals at home and provide companionship.
- Occupational therapists can evaluate a home and its resident and recommend grab bars and other changes to improve safety.
- In some areas, nonprofit support networks called Villages help older residents stay in their homes. Volunteers perform some everyday tasks, and the Villages also arrange for discounted services, from plumbing to nursing care.
Watch for changes in your loved one’s behavior, such as ignoring favorite hobbies, forgetting to pay bills, or missing outings with friends. Keep in mind that not every change is something serious. However, it is important to understand when and why these changes are occurring. Once you can recognize your loved one’s changing behavior, it is easier to develop an action plan on how to handle their situation. It is always better to be prepared than to feel like you are scrambling and making rash and last-minute decisions.