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15 signs your loved one may need home care

Look for these red flags and consider your options

Accepting that your loved one - often an aging parent - requires support to live at home is a very difficult step. For many of us, it's an admission that things will never again be quite the same. For others, it even feels like an admission of weakness or 'failure' (by the way, it isn't). It is especially difficult to acknowledge that home support is needed when you receive constant reassurances from your loved one that 'everything is fine'. And yet, the eventual need for support is as natural to life as being born or eating; one day, we will all be there.

At Careforce we meet many families whose loved ones require care, and those conversations are never easy. Everybody has a different story to tell, but the one constant thread running between them all is the admission that 'I probably should have called you sooner'.  And after their loved one has received care for a few months, they can't imagine why they didn't.  Home care - despite what many people think - doesn't reduce independence. It increases it.

If you're concerned that your loved one may need support to live safely and comfortably at home, here are some of the warning signs you should be looking for.


1.      A notable decrease in personal hygiene (infrequent showering or bathing) 

2.      An increase in slips and falls

3.      Routine household chores going undone

4.      A loss of memory or increased forgetfulness

5.      Food spoiling regularly in the refrigerator

6.      Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

7.      Poor diet or sudden weight loss

8.      Uncertainty or confusion when performing routine tasks

9.      Late bill payment notices, or calls from collectors

10.    Forgetting to take medications, or willfully neglecting medications

11.    Loss of balance while moving throughout the home

12.    Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox

13.    Unexplained dents or scratches on a motor vehicle

14.    Missing important appointments

15.    Extreme clutter around the house

It is important to remember that not all of these warning signals should be cause for panic (there may be other perfectly reasonable explanations). But if your gut is telling you your loved one may need help, call one of Careforce's trusted Nurses at 365-3155 or email us at nurse@careforce.ca. We are always here to talk with you and help you make an informed decision.