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When is it the right time to get help?

For many families, it is unclear to when they should look for help. Pre-planning is essential as we age. The "what if" moments are often ignored until the crisis occurs which leaves the caregiver to make important life altering decisions while being emotionally paralyzed. Don't wait and say I wish I knew about you ……

Here are some scenarios when it is time to make that first phone call.

  • An older adult has limited or no family support. This individual may also have limited access to his/her family due to distance
  • An individual who has multiple medical or psychological issues and is unable to manage them on a routine basis. Frequent trips to the emergency room or medical provider occur
  • An older adult who needs to be transitioned from one care environment such as home to another such as an Assisted Living or Nursing Home
  • A family caregiver is burned out and/or confused about differing care solutions. The feelings of being overwhelmed are producing the feelings of avoidance, anger, and resentment
  • A family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with their loved one's chronic care needs. Caregivers have been faced with the loss of a job due to the amount of time he/she has taken off of work to care for their loved one
  • A family is at odds on how best to care for a loved one.
  • An older adult is unhappy with their current medical care and is unable to advocate for him/herself
  • Dementia is making it difficult for family members to get the help a loved one needs and increases caregiver burnout
  • An older adult and their family members need guidance in planning ahead for declining medical needs

Common red flags to look for in your loved one:

  •  Multiple ER visits and/or hospitalizations in a short period of time
  • Increased visits to medical providers or increased health issues but refused to see medical provider
  • Increased confusion/forgetfulness and behaviors
  • Forgetting items cooking on the stove or leaving burners on, does not recognize smoke alarms going off
  • Frequent falls or unexplained bruises, balance issues but refuse to utilize cane/walker/wheelchair
  • Unexplained weight loss, possibly not eating regularly or properly
  • Disheveled appearance, home unkept
  • Numerous phone calls to caregiver per hour
  • Forgetting to take medication or mistakes in taking medication, possibly taking too much medication
  • Difficult-to-manage behaviors
  • Wandering away from home looking for his/her "home"
  • Social isolation/loss of interest in social activities
  • Neglecting to pay bills or cash checks
  • Has been the victim of financial scams
  • Unsafe driving - getting driving violation tickets frequently and/or involved in driving accidents, unable to remember how to return home