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Elderly Care: Assessing the Need for Home Care Services

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 17, 2020 3:14:00 PM / by CaregiverAsia

Making the decision of how another person lives is one that falls on the shoulders of many people who look after their elderly family members. The goal in caring for your loved ones is to restore and maintain the happy, healthy, and independent life that they once had. However, over time, changes in behavior may begin to suggest that your loved one’s physical or mental abilities are slowing down at a rate that you cannot keep up with, leaving you with the difficult decision of how to best care for them. 

Old age does not have to mark a life sentence to an external care facility. Instead, aging can happen in the comfort of one’s home with the help of professional care services catered to their needs. These services include home nursing, or care companions that can help improve the quality of life of your loved ones.

Firstly, it is important for you to recognize the signs and assess when additional care needs to be sought. Observe if your loved one’s behavioral changes align with any of the following red flags that signal a need for additional assistance at home.

You can allow your elderly loved ones to live in comfort by booking home care services instead of checking them in to residential care facilities.

1. Inability to perform Activities of Daily Living

Understanding the activities of daily living (ADLs) will enable you to assess how well your loved one can provide self-care. ADLs are the common routine tasks a person performs daily.

The Ministry of Health organizes ADLs into six categories:

  1. Washing: Ability to bath, shower, or do a sponge/bed bath.
  2. Dressing: Ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten one’s garments.
  3. Feeding: Ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared.
  4. Toileting: Ability to use the toilet or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments such as diapers or surgical appliances if appropriate.
  5. Walking or moving around: Ability to move indoors from one room to another on level surfaces.
  6. Transferring: Ability tomove from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.

Physical and mental challenges that come with age, or certain medical conditions may cause your loved one to encounter difficulty performing one or more of these activities. When this occurs, additional assistance for ADLs may be required.

ADL assessments can be done by medical professionals or through online tools, such as the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living.

There are six categories of activities of daily living, including washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, walking and transferring.

2. Trips and Falls

Aging hinders mobility due to increased muscle weakness and reduced vision and balance, causing the elderly to be more susceptible to falls. According to Health Promotion Board Singapore, about one-third of elderly Singaporeans aged 60 and above have recurring falls.

Besides age, those with medical conditions such as diabetes may experience dizziness and weakness if their blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, resulting in them being more susceptible to falls.

For seniors, seemingly harmless falls may result in serious injuries such as fractures or head trauma.

Take heed if it has become a common occurrence for your loved one to have close-calls with trips and falls.

Increased muscle weakness, as well as reduced vision and balance make the elderly more susceptible to trips and falls.

3. Loneliness and Social Isolation

When mobility becomes limited and other daily functions become challenging, your loved one  may become socially isolated and withdraw from their past interests and relationships. Social contact is a fundamental aspect of human existence. Elderly people who are socially isolated and lonely may be at greater risk of early death.

If you notice changes in your loved one’s social habits, such as reduced interaction with family and friends,you may want to consider spending more time with your loved one or engaging a Care Companion to engage your loved one in activities.

Elderly who are socially isolated are at risk for earlier death.

4. Slow Recovery from Illness or Injury

Your body’s defense system (immunity) will get weaker with age. Everyday illnesses that seem harmless to most people can quickly escalate into serious illnesses for the elderly that make recovery difficult due to their weakened immune systems.

For example, if your loved one were to catch a cold, it could quickly turn into pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. People with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions are at higher risk of getting pneumonia.

Seek medical advice on preventive measures such as getting vaccinated. Besides getting a vaccine, one can lower the risk of getting bacteria pneumonia by regular handwashing, having a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising and getting sufficient sleep. If your loved one struggles to maintain a lifestyle with healthy eating habits, good hygiene practices and daily exercise, a caregiver can provide daily assistance in these areas.

Weakened immune systems in the elderly reduces their ability to recover from injury and illnesses.

Once you notice the signs which suggest that your loved one may require more attention and caregiving, consult a medical professional. If you have limited family support to care for your loved one, do begin research on caregiving options that best suit your loved one’s lifestyle and needs.

CaregiverAsia has qualified caregivers offering a wide range of services including the assistance with activities of daily living..  Should your loved one require medical escort service to and from medical appointments, or home nursing service, visit our website or call +65 6258 6683 to book these services.

During this Covid-19 pandemic, CaregiverAsia’s Freelance Caregivers are stepping up to give back to our community! Caregivers bearing the #SGStrong icon on their profiles are offering a 20% discount on their services between now and 31st July 2020. We hope that with this, you will have access to more available care. CaregiverAsia continues to serve Singapore with home nursing and medical escort services. To book a care service with us, click the button below.

Book a Care Service here!

Topics: Caring For The Elderly


Written by CaregiverAsia

CaregiverAsia is an award-winning online aggregator of professional healthcare services, offering a wide range of caregiving services to both homes and formal institutions. We have over 12,000 qualified freelance caregivers who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents. Our range of services include medical & nursing care, pregnancy & child care, as well as wellness & personal care. To find out more about the services we offer or to book a service, please visit our website at www.caregiverasia.com or call our 24-hour hotline at +65 6258 6683.

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