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Is it Time for Home Care?


Sometimes it can be easy to tell when an aging family member needs home care, such as when an injury or serious illness occurs. Other times, it can be more difficult to determine if an older adult could use some help to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable in their home. And, when you ask if they need help, they may resist having a home care provider come to their house. If you’re uncertain of whether an elderly family member needs help, there are some signs you can look for.

Signs Home Care is needed

Knowing when an older adult needs home care can be a little tricky. But, when you start to notice certain signs, it may be time to talk to your loved one about accepting help in their home. Some signs to look for in an older adult are:

  • Lack of hygiene: You may notice that the older adult has body odor, their hair is dirty, they have bad breath, or they have an overall unkempt appearance.
  • Bruises or injuries: When a senior has bruises or other injuries, it can be a sign that they are falling. Falls are very dangerous for older adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that falls are “the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.”
  • No food or spoiled food: If your aging relative has empty cupboards or if the refrigerator is filled with spoiled food, it may indicate they aren’t eating well. Perhaps they are unable to drive to the grocery store or cook for themselves. In some cases, older adults find cooking for one too much trouble or eating alone too lonely.
  • Dirty house: Cleaning the house and completing other household tasks can be difficult for seniors who are frail or have medical conditions.
  • Piled up mail: Seniors with cognitive difficulties may stop opening their mail and paying bills.
  • Missing medication doses: You might notice that the older adult is not taking medications or seems confused about keeping their medications organized.
  • Driving problems: The older adult might be reluctant to drive, may be getting in fender benders, or may be getting citations. If that’s the case, it may be time for them to stop driving.
  • Safety: Sometimes an older adult starts to forget to turn off appliances, lock doors, or engages in other unsafe behaviors

When family caregivers need Home Care help

Sometimes family members know that an older adult needs help but believe they can handle the care on their own. However, being a caregiver isn’t an easy task and can take a physical and emotional toll. Some signs that you need assistance from home care so that you can take a break or lighten your load a bit are:

  • You feel overwhelmed.
  • You worry all the time.
  • Your sleep habits have changed and you’re sleeping too much or too little.
  • You get irritated or angry easily.
  • You have lost touch with family or friends.
  • You’re no longer interested in hobbies or other activities you used to like.
  • You feel unwell, such as having body pain or headaches.
  • You’re using alcohol or drugs to feel better.

Recognizing the signs that an older adult or family caregivers need help from home care can be difficult. Most people don’t like to admit they need help. However, once you’ve started with home care, you’ll wonder what you ever did without them!

About Linda Kunicki, CMP, Marketing Director

linda-kunicki-brightstar-careLinda has been with BrightStar Care of Chicago and BrightStar Care of La Grange since 2013. Her background includes a lengthy tenure in health care as well as a strong business background. While her primary focus has been management, training and marketing, Linda has taken on and succeeded at roles in Sales, Human Resources, and Project Management. Every position she’s had has allowed her to fulfil her passion to service others from children to seniors, which gives her joy each day. Her experience has led her to being on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the Case Management Society of America for multiple terms and serving on many committees for Aging Care Connections and local Health and Wellness groups.

Linda’s pathway to BrightStar began as being the caregiver for her mother and grandmother. Her personal experience has given her perspective into the growing need for high quality care in our society, from pediatrics to senior citizens. And she takes great pride in the Gold Seal of the Joint Commission Accreditation earned by BrightStar. It confirms her decision to make this company her employer of choice.

Linda has also owned Shetland Sheepdogs aka Shelties most of her life. For many years, she has been involved in activities with Shelties that have guided her to earn championship and performance titles on many of her own dogs and help others do the same.

Linda’s favorite quote:

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Zigler

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home care in Chicago, IL, or the La Grange, IL areas, please contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care Chicago. Call today: 312-382-8888 or 708-551-2500