Caring for your loved ones in Sacramento, CA is no easy feat. As your parents or other family members begin to age, they naturally require more and more attention. Caregiving can present a whole new set of risks and challenges in your relationship dynamic that have never been apparent before. As this becomes increasingly more difficult, it may be time to consider enlisting professional help. Here are some tell tale signs that are good indicators of when it is time to have “the conversation”* with your loved one about their caregiving plan.
From changes in eating habits, to weight loss or gain, to even drinking more alcohol than usual, these are all signs to acknowledge. Other behavioral changes could include neglecting personal hygiene and daily tasks like regular showering, brushing teeth, wearing soiled clothing, and more. Another telltale behavior sign may be a change in their social rituals. For example, they stop going to religious gatherings, weekly book clubs, bridge games, etc. Additionally, has their demeanor changed? Do they seem quieter, louder, paranoid, agitated, withdrawn or uncommunicative or perhaps just seem to be acting in a way that is inconsistent with their normal personality? Whenever someone at this stage starts behaving in an unusual or different way, it is a sign that they may need some professional assistance.
Neglecting or Abusing Medications
If your loved one is not taking their medications or not taking them properly, that is a huge red flag. Taking too little, too much or taking the wrong doses at the wrong frequency could mean that there are issues that need to be handled that go far beyond a child or spouse’s capability. A licensed caregiver can be a great way to ensure that those medications are being properly administered and always taken according to the way the prescriptions are written.
As a family member who is also trying to play the role of caregiver, you know you cannot be there 24/7. Have you noticed forgetful behavior? Anything from leaving a stove on, leaving doors open or unlocked, forgetting to pay bills, paying the bills twice, and other simple tasks can be signals that professional caregiving would be beneficial for your loved one.
While aggression is often a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can also happen with older people who are not struggling with those diseases. Aggression can cause suffering and even resentment between loved ones and having a professional can minimize these issues and actually create a positive environment.
The term sundowning comes from “Sundowner Syndrome” or “Late Day Confusion.” Essentially, this means that the person becomes more and more agitated as the day progresses. This agitation can easily wear on any loved one, who is not trained to handle these situations. It can be disruptive to family routines and dynamics, causing rifts in relationships and even lead to more problems. A professional caregiver is equipped to handle situations like these and give your loved one the assistance he or she needs during all times of the day.
Finally, assess how you feel. As a caregiver, how stressed are you? Is providing the care your loved one needs getting to be too much? Eventually symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, disabling anxiety, hyper-vigilance or avoidance behaviors can present themselves in caregivers. That may be a sign that a professional is needed.
There are many more signs that it may be time for professional caregiving help. You can read about them here.
If you have noticed or observed any of these signals while caring for your loved one, consider calling us at Harmony Home Care at 916-933-9777 or visit our website.Our staff in Sacramento and the surrounding areas will be glad to listen to your concerns and circumstances and help you move forward in the best way possible. We offer free, in-home assessments to help your family make the right decision that is best for you.