6 Signs You May Need a Caregiver

Aging is a part of life, but it’s not without its challenges, both for the individuals experiencing it and those close to them. It can be distressing to see our older family members begin to struggle with everyday activities, from adhering to medication schedules to regularly washing their clothes. 

We want to ensure seniors can maintain their independence and stay in the comfort of their homes. However, shouldering the responsibility for their care can quickly become overwhelming or unmanageable. Fortunately, professional help can help lighten the load, improving the quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.

So, how do we know when to seek outside help? As I’ve learned in my time at Superior Senior Care, which helps provide in-home assistance to seniors and their families, several signs may indicate it’s time to hire a caregiver:


1. Declining cognitive function

They may experience frequent forgetfulness, confusion, a loss of reasoning skills or repetitive speech and actions. If a loved one is showing symptoms of cognitive decline, families should consult with a health care provider as it could signal a more serious issue, such as dementia.


2. Steadily shifting behaviors

While generally more gradual in onset, seniors may begin acting out of the ordinary, with more frequent mood swings, leaving the house and getting lost, forgetting appointments, becoming agitated or pacing the house. 


3. Waning appearance

Elderly individuals may undergo “red flag” physical changes, including weight loss, difficulty eating or swallowing, poor personal hygiene, inadequate grooming, unexplained bruises or injuries from suspected falls or limited mobility due to instability or pain. 


4. Deteriorating home environment

Seniors may be unable to complete daily tasks, potentially resulting in cluttered or dirty houses and stockpiles of laundry, unopened mail or even expired groceries. Likewise, new vehicle damage may indicate dangerous driving.


5. Growing isolation

A loss of interest in the activities they used to enjoy, spending more time than usual in front of the television, sleeping more frequently or seeming sad and lonely may suggest the need for companionship.


6. Increasing dependency

Ensuring seniors’ health and safety may require family members to make multiple daily check-in phone calls, extend their in-person visits or serve as on-call help for simple tasks, such as bringing in packages or cooking meals.


The good news is assistance from a trusted, trained caregiver can help prevent, eliminate or alleviate potentially concerning issues that occur as seniors age. If your loved one is exhibiting any of the signs above, consider getting an in-home assessment. This process can help determine what services a senior may benefit from receiving, whether help with household chores and meals or transportation. 


Read on: The Next Steps Caregiving Guide 2024


Quincy Hurst is the chief operating officer of Superior Senior Care, which has nearly 40 years of home care assistance experience and serves thousands of Arkansas families annually.

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