Self-Assessing My Care Needs: How to Know When It’s Time for Help at Home

No one wants to admit the need for help. We’re afraid of losing our freedom, or our pride gets in the way and causes us to ignore the red flags and push on independently. Yet admitting that you’re noticing some warning signs and seeking help at home is not admitting defeat! In fact, engaging the services of a professional caregiver actually enhances independence by empowering seniors to continue living safely in the homes they love.

Sometimes the need for home care services isn’t even related to a senior directly, but is the result of caring for a life partner with health complications. Taking care of the physical and emotional needs of someone you love can be exhausting and lead to caregiver stress and burnout. In this case, bringing in help at home will benefit both partners.

So how can you determine when it’s time to consider home care services? We find that it often boils down to three main categories: fatigue, pain, and restrictions. See if you can relate to any of these scenarios.


The problem: Mrs. Clark’s husband is battling Parkinson’s disease. Her days are often overwhelming, from sunup to sundown. She struggles with the physical requirements: helping him to get out of bed, into the shower, dressed, and with all of his other needs throughout the day. The emotional toll is just as heavy, as his dementia increases and his behaviors and moods are unpredictable. Mrs. Clark is exhausted.

The solution: An in-home caregiver was hired to help Mr. Clark with his care needs, while providing Mrs. Clark with several hours each day of respite, so she can engage in relaxing, enjoyable activities. This time for self-care alleviates stress and allows her to recharge and return to her care duties refreshed.


The problem: Mrs. Smith has diabetes, and is trying to follow a healthy diet. She spends quite a bit of time in the kitchen, prepping fresh foods, cooking meals, and cleaning up. Standing on the hard kitchen floor hurts both her legs and her back. As a result of the pain she’s enduring, she’s stopped taking the daily walk she used to enjoy.

The solution: Mrs. Smith’s caregiver now plans and prepares all of her meals, following the prescribed diet her doctor recommended. She also takes care of cleaning the kitchen and other housekeeping chores that have become taxing, such as changing bed linens. Mrs. Smith has resumed her walks and has additional time to spend on any other pastimes she chooses.


The problem: Mr. Brown’s vision has been diminishing progressively over the years. He has been instructed by his doctor that it’s no longer safe for him to drive. Living alone, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to take care of the necessary activities of daily living, let alone the hobbies and interests he enjoys.

The solution: With a caregiver to provide transportation and accompaniment wherever and whenever he would like to go, Mr. Brown’s freedom is kept intact. His caregiver also provides support with preparing meals, housekeeping, running errands, and even assisting him as needed to allow him to continue to enjoy the activities he loves, such as by picking up Braille books for him.

The sooner you reach out for help when experiencing a pain point like the ones mentioned above, the sooner you can get back to living the life you want to live. A solution is readily available and just a phone call away!

Right at Home, the leading provider of home care in Sarasota and in all of Sarasota County, provides professionally certified senior care services. Contact us at (941) 929-1966 for a free in-home consultation to discuss your care needs or concerns.

Michael Juceam
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