As our parents and other family members get older, they often require support with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These activities include anything from ambulation (the ability to move from one position to another and/or walk independently) to bathing, dressing, feeding and other tasks associated with the necessities of life. The need for support can be subtle, and change often happens over a long period of time—for example, your loved one may require a walker or begin avoiding certain foods because they’re more difficult to chew or swallow. They might also change their habits to reflect their abilities—bathing less often, eating simpler meals, or staying home more than they used to.
Many seniors are able to thrive at home well into their older years. However, managing one’s ADLs independently often becomes increasingly difficult over time, and the amount of care required increases with each passing year. Because this transition is gradual and sometimes hard to measure, it can be difficult to know when outside help is appropriate. Today, we’ll offer some information to help guide your decision-making and answer some common questions. If you’d like more information or personalized advice, please contact us. We’d be glad to discuss your needs and provide a quote.
Signs your loved one would benefit from homecare services
Seniors often feel that they don’t need a caregiver because they’re “getting by” just fine on their own. While that may be the case, we believe that seniors deserve a high quality of life—not one where they’re dealing with limitations due to physical or cognitive impairments. Here are some signs your loved one would benefit from the support of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) from Living Assistance Services in Burlington:
- They’re bathing less often. This is sometimes because they no longer recognize the need to bathe regularly, and other times because bathing independently has become a physical challenge. Some seniors are also worried about falling during a bath or shower—a valid concern.
- They aren’t eating well. This is often because seniors don’t feel hunger the same way younger people do, and/or they aren’t recognizing the need to fuel their body with healthy, nutritious meals. Many seniors also experience dehydration because they aren’t drinking enough fluids throughout the day.
- They’re forgetting to take their medication. Whether dementia is an issue or they’re simply forgetting to take their pills on time, this can lead to serious health complications.
- They’ve had falls. If your loved one is prone to falling, a Personal Support Worker can be a great help. Not only can they assist with tasks in the home and help prevent falls, they’re able to assist and care for your aging loved one if a fall does occur.
- They’re dealing with an illness or injury. If your aging loved one has a chronic condition or is dealing with an illness or injury, they may benefit from care.
- They’re becoming more isolated. Many seniors stop running errands and participating in social activities as they age. This happens for a variety of reasons—some find these tasks exhausting while others aren’t comfortable leaving the house on their own—but in any case, our caregivers can offer support.
Sooner is better than later
One of the main points we like to discuss with families is that when it comes to caregiving, introducing a Personal Support Worker sooner is always better than later. This allows your loved one to get comfortable with receiving assistance in smaller, less intimidating doses—for example, having a PSW come over to help during their morning routine or at bedtime, then gradually increasing the length and/or number of shifts needed to meet their needs. This is typically easier than waiting until your loved one needs significant support, then immediately moving to full-time care. Unlike some homecare providers, we are able to send caregivers for shorter shifts or on a part-time basis (one or two shifts per week, weekdays only, evenings only, or whatever else is needed). The minimum length of a shift is 3 hours, and we are also able to offer longer shifts (8-12 hours) as well as 24 hour care.
There’s no long-term commitment
Finally, it’s important to know that with Living Assistance Services in Burlington and Oakville, there is no long-term commitment when you hire a caregiver. If your needs change, you are able to cancel services at any time with no penalty. This model allows families to get the care they want and need without the stress of signing complicated contracts. Our mandate is to help seniors live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible—not to bind them to contracted services they no longer want or need. If you have any questions about this, please let us know—we’d be glad to answer your questions. Thanks for reading and remember, our team would be glad to hear from you by phone, email or through our website.