The 2 Questions That Can Tell You if Your Elderly Parent Needs In Home Care

Are you considering in home care services for your parent, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time yet? Answer these 2 essential questions to find out what the next steps might be.

As we age, some cognitive changes are inevitable, while others are symptoms of degenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. If your mom or dad is showing signs of cognitive or physical decline, you’ve probably started thinking about the day they can no longer live on their own. But what if they can stay in their home, and receive the support they need from an in home caregiver? Before you put off your decision to explore in home care services in Little Rock, answer these crucial questions to see if your parent is a good fit for this service.

1. Do you trust your parent behind the wheel?

Do you feel perfectly safe with your elderly parent driving on the road? The answer to this is difficult, because taking away driving privileges from your parent feels like taking away their ability to do activities on their own. However, in home care services can actually lessen the impact of this loss by giving your loved one a different way to get out and go where they want. Remember this as you answer the following question: do you breathe easy when you know your parent is driving?

If you answered “yes”…

Responsible and safe driving is a good sign that your parent is still capable of thinking clearly and taking care of their own needs. But just because your parent can still drive safely, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can live alone safely. For example, they may be capable of seeing and hearing, but they could still be at risk for a fall. Be sure to evaluate concerns like those even when you do trust them behind the wheel.

If you answered “no”…

If you’ve considered taking away your parent’s car keys, you probably have a very good reason to fear for their safety. They may have a history of accidents, or delayed reaction times that make it difficult to detect danger. Whatever the reason(s), it’s important to put their safety first (as well as the safety of other drivers) and consider transportation alternatives.

2.    Has your parent passed a dementia screening?

A routine cognitive screening may be the most helpful tool in deciding whether or not to seek in home care services, and it also makes it possible to detect disease early enough to delay the onset of additional symptoms.

If you answered “yes”…

Dementia screenings evaluate specific cognitive functions such as memory, mood, behavior, and even money management and driving skills, which are essential to living alone. Negative results suggest there’s not an immediate concern about your parent’s cognitive health or independence.

If you answered “no”…

If your parent does have a cognitive impairment, you may not need to hire an in home caregiver just yet. Your physician may identify a temporary and treatable reason for the impairment, such as nutritional deficiencies or depression. Even Alzheimer’s disease can be treated with long-term care plans if it’s caught early enough. However, a positive result often means it’s time to develop a treatment plan and consider in home care services.

Where to Find in Home Care That You Trust

If you answered “no” to one or both of these questions, it may be time to prepare your parent for the transition into in home care. And that doesn’t mean having to stay home from your job to be a full-time caregiver or spending thousands of dollars on a private nurse. Integrity, Inc. provides in home care for the elderly in Little Rock, Arkansas because our mission is to help seniors and people with disabilities live as independently as possible. Give us a call today at (501) 406-0442 to learn about the services we can provide for your elderly parent.

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