It’s always been your dad’s goal to stay in the family home. However, health issues like high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, or arthritis are making it harder for him to complete the tasks that he needs to do. What are some of the challenges he may experience, and how can in-home care play a role in his future?
Forgetfulness is one of the more challenging issues. While your dad’s forgetfulness is strictly part of aging and not related to Alzheimer’s, it’s still frustrating as one of the things he struggles with is remembering to take his medications. If you’re not there to remind him, he often forgets a dose, which puts his health at risk.
Medication reminders are an important in-home care service. Not only will his caregiver remind him to take a pill, but he has guidance on how it’s meant to be taken. With water or with milk? On an empty stomach or with a meal? His caregiver is there to help him take his pills correctly.
Loss of Mobility
With a disease like Parkinson’s and some forms of arthritis, especially gout, your dad’s mobility may be greatly impacted. It may not be a consistent loss of mobility, especially with something like gout where it flares up from time to time, but it has to be addressed.
If your dad is having a harder time moving from one room to the next, stepping in and out of the shower, or going up and down stairs, he shouldn’t attempt it without someone there for support. He can have a family caregiver with him or arrange in-home care aides to spend time with him each week, but he needs someone to help keep him from falling.
Difficulty Cleaning His Home
Older adults admit that tasks like vacuuming and taking out the trash get harder, especially if upper body strength and mobility are worsening. If he has carpeted stairs, he may struggle to go up the stairs with a bulky vacuum. On each stair, he has to balance the vacuum while using the attachment to sweep the top and side of each stair.
Rather than risk a fall, someone should take over the tasks your dad has the hardest time completing. Things like vacuuming, trash and recycling, dishes, sweeping, and laundry are all chores covered with in-home care. His caregiver can also change his sheets so that he doesn’t have to try to lift the corner of the mattress to ensure the sheet fits correctly.
Isolation and Loneliness
If your dad lives alone, he may feel lonely, especially if no one stops by to see him each week. If he isn’t supposed to drive anymore and lives outside of a city, he is going to feel isolated, too. Make sure someone is available to drive him to stores, his appointments, and community or senior center events.
Your dad should feel challenged to maintain his independence. When he needs a helping hand, make sure he has an in-home care aide ready to help. He can live alone but have some help with difficult tasks like vacuuming, laundry, and meal preparation. He won’t feel lonely or isolated with in-home care for transportation and company.