When was the last time you gathered as a family to catch up and see how your dad’s doing? It’s time to have that dinner. Many families are only available to gather once a year, and in a year’s time, a lot can change. As you gather, here are some of the things you need to be watching for in your dad’s home. Once you’ve taken stock of his current situation, you can begin to asses if it’s time to bring in senior home care to help out.
How Are His Food Inventories?
How much food does your dad have on hand? Is he shopping regularly and stocked with healthy food options? If he’s ordering takeout regularly and not doing the shopping, ask him why. Is he able to drive? Does he find shopping overwhelming?
Is He Taking Care of Himself?
Does your dad shower a minimum of every few days? If you notice body odor and he’s not very active, he may be avoiding showers. Find out why. If he fell coming out of the shower, he may be fearful of being alone when he washes himself. A shower seat and grab bars can boost his confidence.
See if your dad has seen his doctor in the past year. Is he going for two dental cleanings per year? He should be seeing his doctor and dentist that often, or possibly more often if he has a chronic health condition or gum disease.
How is His Mobility?
As you watch your dad, see how well he moves around. Does he seem unsteady when he first stands up from a sofa or chair? Does he shuffle while he walks? How is he on the stairs?
When he’s moving around or standing in one space, does he seem to hold onto items for support? If so, it could be time to invest in a cane to provide some support while he’s walking. Talk to him about it, and make sure he knows that there are some amazing canes now. He could have one with built-in LED lighting to illuminate a hallway while he walks.
How Clean is the House?
How clean is his home? Does he have mounds of laundry that he can’t get downstairs to the laundry room? Is he re-wearing clothing rather than washing it? Does he wash items in a sink rather than make the trip to his laundry room?
Does your dad vacuum stairs or are they building up pet hair and dust? Is he able to carry and push his vacuum around or is it too difficult?
Talk with Him About Senior Home Care
Take time once a month or as often as you can to have family meals. Use this time to see how your dad’s doing and judge whether it’s time to have someone helping him with household chores or personal care.
As you talk to him about his safety and needs as he ages at home, make sure he realizes he’s in control. Senior home care isn’t about taking away his independence, it’s about the helping hand he needs from time to time to remain independent. Involve him in talks with a senior home care specialist when you make the call.