Has the question of whether or not you may need caregiving assistance come up recently? Consider the following scenario: 

You’ve always been a proud and independent person who worked hard over the years for what you have, including your home. Your spouse of 55 years passed away last year, and it’s been tough ever since. You dearly love your adult children and grandchildren, but they live far away, and you get to see them just a few times a year.

Now that you’re in your late 70s, it’s become harder just to get around. Routine daily activities are now difficult, and your doctor mentioned recently it may be time to give up the car keys. The house is a mess, you just fell (again) in the bathroom, and preparing healthy meals for one just doesn’t make sense. You decided long ago not to be a burden to your kids, but you also want to continue enjoying the comfort and freedom living at home affords you. Is it seriously time to consider some caregiving assistance?

Can You Still Perform these Activities?

The first question to honestly ask yourself is whether-or-not you can still routinely perform these daily living activities:

  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring or moving from place to place
  • Cleaning house and doing laundry
  • Driving
  • Walking including negotiating stairs and steps
  • Remembering to take your medications
  • Cooking and eating

Loss-of-balance is common for seniors 65-and-over, and nearly a third experience a fall every year. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about, as balance difficulties accompany the aging process. What to consider is if you’ve fallen several times lately, and what would happen if you were to be seriously injured in an at-home fall when no one else was around.

Has Your Physical Appearance Changed?

Sure, we all lose our “good looks” as we age, but just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t look presentable, notably when you go out in public. When you look in the mirror, is the person staring back recognizable? More specifically, look for these physical changes:

  • Noticeable weight loss
  • Disheveled appearance and overall poor hygiene
  • Bruises on your body from recent falls
  • Accidental burns from hot water
  • Unsightly stains on your clothes

Other Signs Around the Home

Now it’s time to walk around your home, inside and out, while looking for these signs:

  • Large carpet and upholstery stains that have been there for a while
  • Piles of garbage that haven’t been taken out yet
  • Stacks of unwashed dishes or smelly fast-food containers in the kitchen
  • Urine smell in the house
  • Unpaid bills and unopened mail lying around
  • Lack of nutritious food in the pantry and fridge
  • House is dirty, notably the kitchen and bathroom
  • Unfilled medicine prescriptions or empty pill bottles
  • Broken appliances
  • Piles of dirty laundry
  • Yard is overgrown
  • Your car has fresh dents and scratches

Mental and Cognitive Changes

As we grow older, it’s also common to have memory lapses and cognitive impairment issues that interfere with our daily activiti