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Tips on How to Know if Your Loved One Needs Care

Benefits are available to help pay for long-term care. We’ll help you qualify.

How to Know if Your Loved One Needs Care

30-second summary:


  • There are many signs that it may be time for a transition into long-term care arrangements for an aging loved one, whether in-home, assisted living, or nursing home.
  • Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are fundamental things people should be able to do without assistance if they’re going to live on their own (bathing, eating, hygiene, dressing, toileting, functional mobility).
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are not as fundamental as ADLs but still important (money management, shopping, telephone communication, housekeeping, transportation, taking medications.
At Senior Solutions Consulting (SSC), we know you want only the best for your aging loved ones. When they start having trouble doing things for themselves, you may find yourself spending more time helping or searching for additional help if you are not close enough to provide what is needed. Is in home care enough or should you be looking at assisted living or skilled long term care? If there is a spouse with similar or different needs, there may need to be different options for each of them. It is important to make sure that medications are being taken at the correct time, they are eating enough healthy food, and that bills are being paid on time. If there are problems in these areas, it may be time to consider extra help.

Additionally, watch for irregular financial decisions such as falling for scams or giving or loaning money to friends or family members or others who might be taking advantage of them. SSC can explain the many different types of benefits that are available and provide you with options on how to pay for long-term care while protecting your family’s assets. Call us at 317-863-0213 to schedule a free initial consultation to find out how we help.

Assessing Your Loved One’s Need for Care

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the tasks that everyone needs to be able to do safely to take care of themselves and be able to remain independent. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are the secondary level of items that a person should be able to accomplish to successfully stay independent. If a person cannot preform one or more of the ADL’s then it is time to provide or find care for that person. Deficiencies in one or more of these areas can lead to other issues such as falls, medication mismanagement, malnutrition, dehydration, etc. Identifying the problem areas quickly and taking the appropriate action can prolong the ability of a person to stay in there home and age in place.

Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Basic ADLs are things such as getting out of bed, using the bathroom, taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, and being able to make and eat meals, all of which require physical movement around a home. Below is a table listing those basic daily activities along with signs that action may be needed.
Basic Activity of Daily Living (ADLs) Signs that Care/Assistance is Needed
Functional mobility:​ Getting out of bed, sitting in and getting back up out of a chair, or generally moving around from place to place. Has your loved one fallen recently? Has the frequency of falls increased? Do they seem unsteady or unbalanced when moving around? Are stairs becoming too difficult?
Self-Feeding:​ This is just the ability to feed themselves, not cooking or preparing meals. Is your loved one losing weight? Determine if it’s a lack of interest in cooking or if they’re having trouble feeding themselves.
Toileting:​ Getting there, using it, wiping, getting back up. Are accidents happening? Do they need adult briefs because toileting has become difficult?
Bathing/Showing Is the frequency of bathing on the decline because it’s becoming too difficult?
Hygiene/Grooming Pay attention to things like unwashed or uncombed hair, stained clothing, and so on.
Dressing Do they look disheveled or not as “put together” as they normally do?

Additional Signs and Red Flags to Watch for

Pay attention to the following indicators that can serve as a warning sign that it may be time to arrange care for your loved one:
Activities
Watch for loss of interest in favorite pastimes. Giving up things that were once important may be a red flag.
Medications
Be on the lookout for empty or expired medicine bottles, unfilled prescriptions, or confusion about proper dosage and medication times.
Food
Check the fridge and cupboards. Look for food that is old or spoiled – past-due expiration dates or moldy leftovers and sour milk.
Moods
Frequent bouts of irritability, moodiness, depression, or fatigue are always symptoms worth discussing. This can include changes in sleep patterns.
Finances
When unopened mail, unpaid bills, and overdue notices stack up, it may raise concerns about how financial matters are being managed.
Driving
Don’t ignore near misses, fender benders, new dents, or nicks. Request a ride to assess your loved one’s current driving skills.
Forgetfulness
Everyone forgets where they put something from time to time, but when it starts happening with greater frequency, or it gets in the way of daily life, then it may indicate the onset of some cognitive decline.
Realizing that your loved one can no longer live safely in their home is difficult. Finding the proper support could allow them to be able to remain in their home a while longer. If that is not appropriate or affordable, then perhaps an assisted living or a long-term care facility might be needed however, these care options can be very expensive. Persons living on fixed incomes may not be able to afford the cost of needed additional care and family members are not always able to provide financial support.

Getting Benefits to Pay for Care: Senior Solutions Consulting can help

SSC can provide benefit options that you may not be aware of. Creating a plan of action should include all available options. Additionally, qualifying for and applying for most benefit plans can be difficult especially for those who have never completed paperwork for these benefits in the past. SSC can explain what is available, help you get qualified, and complete and submit the proper paperwork to be successful.

For over two decades, we have specialized in helping families get the care they need through the proper programs all while preserving as many of the family’s assets as allowable. Call on us to find out what benefits you might qualify for and what it takes to get it done.

Senior Solutions Consulting: Helping to Navigate Complex Long-Term Care

Please contact us to schedule a time to discuss all of your benefit options, schedule a free initial consultation or call us directly at 317-863-0213. We are here to help your family make sense of it all and get the care your aging loved ones need and deserve.

When you have questions about benefits for long-term care, SSC has answers!