Everyone needs a helping hand now and then, seniors included. Because they want to maintain their independence, they may sometimes not ask for help, or even decline it. As a family member, that can put you in a tough spot when you see changes happening with them, and you’re contemplating their need for home care assistance.

This can be a difficult decision when you think the changes may warrant getting some help, but you’re not 100% sure. To help you make the right call, here are seven ways you can assess if your elderly parent needs home care assistance.

1. Assess Their General Appearance and Mood

Are you noticing changes in their grooming, bathing, and dressing habits? Of course, everyone has a bad day occasionally, but has their mood changed and you’re now seeing constant sadness or anger? These outward clues can give you insight into the level of care your parent needs. If you now see the need for care, respectfully approach your parent on this topic, which can be a difficult conversation. Strive to get your message across to them without injuring their dignity or self-esteem.

2. Consider Any Recent Life Changes

Significant changes, such as the recent loss of a spouse, loved one, or close friend can send anyone into a downward spiral, which is more difficult to come out of as we age. A major life change can lead to insomnia, depression, anxiety, fear, or any number of other physical and emotional effects. A compassionate home health aide can be there with them and keep them from being alone when you can’t.

3. Look at Their Overall Health and Well-Being

Mobility challenges, chronic health issues, recent surgery, loss of memory, or other mental health issues; all of these can be roadblocks for a senior’s independence. However, many of the challenges they face can be successfully overcome through professional home health aides and the variety of services they provide. These expertly trained caregivers can keep your parent safe and comfortable while aging in place.

4. Talk With Other Family Members

Some seniors who need extra care often are assisted by multiple family members with different tasks. This can make it challenging for a primary caregiver to figure out just how much care the parent needs. Get together in-person or on a Zoom call and get everyone’s feedback about getting outside help. It’s an important decision that you may not need to make by yourself.

5. Consult With Their Doctor

Your parent’s doctor may be a person that they are comfortable with and whom they trust. Share any concerns you have with their doctor and get his or her input. If they feel outside help is warranted, having them on board will make it easier to implement a care plan.

6. Talk With Your Parent Directly

Involving your parent in the decision is better than going behind their back. Speak frankly about your concerns with them. Sit together and make a list of their current needs and how those needs can best be met. It may involve getting help from other family members or considering other options such as home care.

7. Have a Home Care Agency Evaluate Your Situation

Some professional home care agencies, like First In Care that serves seniors in Bradenton and Manatee County, offer free in-home consultations. They have years of experience assessing an aging adult’s need for assistance and can tell you precisely how they can help. Call First In Care today at 941-269-2778 to schedule your consultation. There is no charge and no high pressure; just an honest assessment.