Most of us have elderly loved ones in our lives that we care about deeply, whether it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle. But at some point, those elderly individuals usually require at least some caregiving assistance so they can continue aging in place. For reasons like pride and privacy many seniors are hesitant to accept help from an “outsider” like a professional caregiver. As their loved one, finding the right time and place to discuss the topic of home care can be challenging. Here are some tips to help the process go more smoothly.

Signs that a Senior Needs Help

According to, these are some signs that your senior could use some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs):

Physical and Mental Changes

  • Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
  • Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
  • Sleeping too much
  • Unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Missing important appointments
  • Uncertainty and confusion while performing once-familiar tasks
  • Unexplained dents and scratches on their car
  • Forgetfulness, including not taking their medications as prescribed

Neglected Household Duties

  • Lack of fresh, healthy food in the fridge
  • Stacks of unopened mail
  • Stains on the furniture or carpet
  • Dirty laundry piling up
  • Unpaid bills, bounced checks and late notices
  • Utilities being turned off due to missed payments

Poor Personal Hygiene

  • Noticeable change in grooming habits
  • Strong urine smell in the house or on clothing
  • Unpleasant body odor

When your senior is showing several of these red flags their freedom and independence could be placed at risk unless they get some help. One of your options is convincing them to accept some professional help by bringing up the topic of home care.

Starting a Conversation About Home Care

Suspicion and denial are two barriers that will need to be overcome before your senior will even consider allowing a “stranger” in their home. Here’s how to get the home care conversation started:

Share your concerns

Respectfully speak to your loved one about some of the things you’ve observed, and why