Warning Signs It's Time for Home Health Care

Signs to look out for before considering the option of home healthcare services.

6/13/20233 min read

Providing care for an aging or ill loved one at home can be challenging, but with close monitoring it may be possible for some time. However, there are several warning signs that indicate it may be time to consider bringing in additional help from a home health care agency. If your loved one exhibits any of the signs below, it's best to contact their doctor right away to discuss options for home health care:

Increased difficulty with activities of daily living: Bathing, dressing, grooming, and meal preparation are essential daily activities for health and well-being. If your loved one is struggling with or unable to complete these activities on their own, it's time to consider home health care. A home health aide can assist with daily activities to ensure your loved one remains comfortable, fed, and properly groomed.

Changes in mental status or cognition: Look for signs of confusion, memory loss, or impaired thinking that makes it difficult for your loved one to manage their own care or make sound decisions. A home health aide can provide supervision and ensure safety if cognition or judgment become compromised. They can also report any changes to the physician immediately.

Frequent falls or injuries: Falls are a huge risk for the elderly and infirm. If your loved one experiences multiple falls or injuries, especially in a short period of time, they require closer monitoring and care. A home health aide can help prevent falls by providing mobility assistance, ensuring living spaces are free of tripping hazards, and reporting any balance or gait issues to the physician right away.

Non-compliance with medication or medical instructions: It's critical for health conditions to be properly managed with medications and any medical equipment as directed. If your loved one is unable to comply with their medication schedule or treatment plan, a home health aide can provide medication reminders and oversight to avoid health complications. They can also ensure medical equipment like oxygen tanks are functioning properly and report any issues to the physician.

Social isolation or withdrawal: Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health for well-being. If your loved one experiences social isolation or withdrawal that leads to feelings of loneliness, depression, or helplessness, home health care can help. A home health aide provides regular social interaction and companionship
in addition to assisting with daily activities. They can encourage your loved one to participate in social activities and report any mental health changes to the physician.

Caregiver burnout: Caring for an ill loved one at home can lead to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion for family caregivers. If you are experiencing signs of burnout like constant fatigue, anxiety, depression, or health issues of your own, it's critical to get extra help. Home health care can provide relief for family caregivers by sharing responsibilities or taking over care on a temporary or long-term basis. Respite care gives caregivers a much-needed break to rest, recharge, and better care for themselves.

The warning signs above indicate it may no longer be safe or sustainable for your loved one to live independently at home without additional care and monitoring. Don't delay in contacting their physician to discuss options for implementing a home health care plan. A customized plan provided by a home health agency can address your loved one's specific needs, improve their health and quality of life, reduce risks, and provide relief for family caregivers.

With professional home health care support, your loved one can continue living comfortably and safely in their own home. Home health aides can handle daily activities, monitor health changes, ensure medication compliance, reduce social isolation, and prevent falls or injuries. They provide an extra layer of care and security for both patients and their families. For many families, home health care offers the ideal solution to keep a loved one independent at home for as long as possible.

In summary, several warning signs indicate it may be time to consider home health care for your loved one. By monitoring for these signs and acting quickly, you can implement a care plan to promote health, safety, and well-being for your loved one in their own home. Home health care provides relief and peace of mind for the whole family.