4 signs your loved one could be at risk of self-neglect and benefit from homecare services

PUBLISHED: 16:45 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:14 04 May 2020

It can be hard to tell when your elderly loved needs further support at home. Image: Overington Care

It can be hard to tell when your elderly loved needs further support at home. Image: Overington Care

Archant

It can be difficult to tell when your loved one needs care and can no longer live fully independently anymore.

Overington Care is a passionate care group providing assisted living services to the people in need in Seaton and surrounding areas. Image: Overington CareOverington Care is a passionate care group providing assisted living services to the people in need in Seaton and surrounding areas. Image: Overington Care

Nichola Overington, director of Overington Care in Seaton, tells us what to look out for and how to approach discussing assisted living with a dependant loved one.

1. Weight loss

An elderly person may be losing weight as a result of:

Neglecting diet and nutrition – this could be due to memory loss, causing them to forget how to use kitchen appliances. When you next visit, check the use by dates of food and drink in the fridge to determine when these were bought.

Lack of mobility – if your loved one is struggling to walk, they’re unlikely to be able to cook safely, let alone get to the supermarket to buy food initially.

Check if your friend or family member is visibly smaller than they usually are - this can be a sign that they need assistance at home. Image: Overington CareCheck if your friend or family member is visibly smaller than they usually are - this can be a sign that they need assistance at home. Image: Overington Care

2. Worsened dementia

If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and is showing signs of it worsening, it may be worth gently suggesting homecare services to give them the support they need.

“I would advise asking your family member what they had for breakfast and paying close attention to their response,” Nichola says.

“If they tend to brush over direct questions, this may be a sign that they have completely forgotten the answer, but don’t want to admit it. They could be forgetting a lot of things, so homecare services may be necessary to maintain their health.”

3. Lack of hygiene

When an elderly person is dealing with depression caused by dementia or has trouble moving about, their personal hygiene may not be a priority.

Nichola suggests: “Take note of whether your loved one is always in the same clothes when you come to visit.”

“Ask yourself whether these clothes look like they’ve been washed. Investigate their washing basket – is it full of clothes or does it look like they are on top of their washing? These may seem like minor things, but they could be telling signs that your loved one is desperate for some at-home support.”

4. Increase in falls

Naturally, people lose some of their strength and balance as they grow older, but the severity of this can lead to an increase in falls and being taken to hospital as a result.

“If you’re worried about your loved one losing balance and experiencing a nasty fall, I urge you to get some form of care as soon as possible.”

“Observe your loved one’s mobility whenever you can. Are they having to hold onto furniture to keep upright?”

“Some elderly people may want to save their pride and come up with convincing excuses for the above, but it’s important you see through this and take these signs seriously,” Nichola says.

How do I transition an elderly parent into assisted living?

As much as you feel homecare services may be the best option for your vulnerable parent or relative, it’s important you let them decide on their own. It’s best to help them maintain their dignity and let them feel completely in control.

“I would suggest you slowly start dropping the idea of assisted living into conversations,” says Nichola.

“Do your research first and print out CQC reports, brochures from different care groups, and images to help back up your conversation. If you leave this research with your loved one, they’re likely to have a flick through it themselves – helping them to warm to the idea and keeping it at the forefront of their mind.”

Assisted living in Seaton, Devon

Overington Care was born from a passion for giving people the level of care they need whilst encouraging them to continue to live as independently as possible. Its aim is to support individuals, giving them maximum control over their own choices and decisions.

The care company is setting up its own charity to open a community hub in July 2020. This will be a place where vulnerable, elderly people can come and interact with other members of the community, taking part in activities and trips and benefiting from extra care and support. The facility will also be open to the general public to spend time with those in need in their local area.

Overington Care has been recognised as an Outstanding care service in the most recent CQC inspection report.

How Overington Care are responding to the coronavirus and the affect on homecare services

The care group have updated their contingency plans to prepare for a substantial amount of their care workers having to self-isolate for 14 days. All clients are assessed and placed into three categories, Red, Amber and Green, based on their dependence on the care services and their circle of support. This is to ensure that each client is given the level of the care they need should there be a shortage of staff.

All members of staff are fully trained in effective hand washing techniques, infection prevention control measures, signs and symptoms to look out for and the procedures to follow should they suspect a client or themselves to be symptomatic.

It’s important that all clients of any care service adhere to the measures the government has introduced to ensure other clients’ health is not compromised, and to reduce the spread of the virus on a wider scale.

To see what Overington Care can do for your loved one, or for more information about the coronavirus in relation to homecare services visit www.overingtoncareltd.co.uk, or contact 01297 20336 or info@overingtoncareltd.co.uk.


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