Signs Your Loved One May Need a Caregiver

Posted on Aug 1st 2018 by Florida Blue

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It’s hard to know when it’s time to give up some independence and ask for help. As your family members and friends age, it may be up to you to look for signs they need help.  Here are some issues to watch for and tips for what you can do to help your loved one who may need a caregiver’s support.

Remember: Everyone ages differently and caregiving needs can be different from person to person. Take a look at this list and think about whether you’ve seen any of these signs in someone you love. If you have, finding a caregiver could give your loved one the emotional and physical support they need.

We’ve also put together some other resources that can help.

Safety Solutions
Driving issues (traffic violations, accidents, dents in the car, misjudging distance, running red lights and stop signs)
  • Suggest your loved one take an online or in-person driver safety class to refresh their memory and skills
  • Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or the Florida Department of Elder Affairs about programs that can help with cleaning, transportation and more.
For more information when deciding if it’s time for your loved one to hang up their keys, check out this helpful article.
Difficulty seeing or hearing 
  • Schedule a vision or hearing test for them
Having a hard time getting up from their seat or navigating stairs  Install railings near steps or where they might need an extra hand. These are considered durable medical equipment and could be no cost to them with their Medicare plan. 
Messy home (especially if they have always been tidy)
  • Hire a housekeeper to help
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or the Florida Department of Elder Affairs about programs that can help with cleaning, transportation and more.
Finances Solutions
Unopened mail, unpaid bills and bounced checks
  • Help them sort junk mail from important mail. Set up a system so they can keep track of bills to pay and things they need to handle.
Unopened mail, unpaid bills and bounced checks
  • Talk to your loved one about the importance of keeping financial information private.
Any unusual spending or saving patterns
  • Find a caregiver who has knowledge of finances or hire a financial manager.
Change in Appearance or Ability Solutions
Significant weight loss or weight gain Check out the Blue365® discount program at www.blue365deals.com to see if there are any discounts on home-delivery meal services.
Difficulty chewing or swallowing Talk to your loved one’s doctor about treatments that may be able to help. 
Shaking hands Talk to your loved one’s doctor about treatments that may be able to help. 
Skin irritations and poor hygiene (especially if they have never had these issues before)
  • Check your local Area Agency on Aging to find housekeepers or laundry services to make it easier on your loved one.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor about treatments that may be able to help.
Behavioral Changes Solutions
Changes in communications skills and memory Start by scheduling a visit with their doctor to talk about physical changes, such as slurred speech. These could be symptoms of a larger health problem.
Being confused more often and asking the same question multiple times Make sure to ask the doctor about mental health and topics, such as depression. Make sure your loved one gets help. Depression is treatable.
Forgetting words, slurring speech and changes in judgment Make sure to let your loved one’s doctor know about these changes. They could be signs of a bigger problem.
Signs of depression, sadness, anxiety, grief or other mood changes
  • Be someone your loved one feels comfortable talking to.

 

Missed Medication Solutions
Regularly forgetting to take their medication 
  • Buy your loved one a weekly pill organizer.
Suggest setting an alarm or placing a note somewhere they are sure to see it to remind them they are supposed to take their medications. If they have a smartphone, helping them set a reminder on their phone can be easy.
Expired or unused medications in their medicine cabinet
  • Ask your loved one why they did not finish these medications.
Go to the doctor with your loved one so you hear the doctor’s instructions, too.
Pills sitting out on the counter
  • Suggest that your loved one order a 90-day supply of their medications. These can be mailed to them so they don’t have to worry about getting their medications every month.
Empty pill bottles that should be refilled
  • To have a 90-day supply of medications mailed to them at no additional cost, call AllianceRx Walgreens Prime at 1-888-211-9028. They’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • You can also try our newest preferred pharmacy partner, PillPack. PillPack is a full-service online pharmacy that sorts the medications by the dose and delivers them to the door. Medications are packaged into easy-to-open packets that fit into a discreet dispenser. They will make sure your loved one always have the right medication at the right time —at no extra cost.

Need Help Finding a Caregiver?

The Department of Elder Affairs for the state of Florida can be a great resource when looking for a caregiver, programs and services that could help your loved one. The Department of Elder affairs offers information on assisted living, senior communities, and caregiver resources to help find the best fit for your loved one. Below is a link to their Caregiver Assistance Programs page so you can see your options.

http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/caregivers.php

AgingCare.com offers resources to those living in Northeast Florida (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau and Volusia counties). AgingCare.com allows you to learn the difference between in-home care, assisted living and memory care. They also offer a caregiving page that provides information about what caregiving entails and the steps you can take to make sure your loved one gets the best care for them.

SeniorCare.com divides the state by city and county to make finding a caregiver easier for you. Learn which type of caregiver your loved one needs to personalize their care experience. SeniorCare.com also provides helpful contacts for seniors organized by each city in Florida.

If your loved ones want to include you in their private health information, they will need to give you consent. Read more about health information protection on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. If you want to include their caregiver in their health information, you can add them to their member file here at Florida Blue. If you need help adding them, call our Member Services team at 1-800-926-6565 (TTY users, please call 1-800-955-8770).


Filed under: Medicare News  


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