When is it Time to Have Help?

Jennifer Helin

When is it time to have help?

At Seniors Helping Seniors(R) in-home care we consider ourselves the first “rung” on the ladder of care.  We are often the initial support someone has in their home.  How does someone decide it is time?  We see a few folks who start services a little early, those that are right on time, but unfortunately, too many that start too late.

What is too late?  The couples or individuals that wait, wanting to stay independent as long as possible and refuse help, ending up suffering in the long run.  They insist they can do it all themselves but run themselves ragged in the process.  Worn down, they are at a greater risk for falls.  They eat simple, quick meals that can be full of added salt but provide little nutrition.  Isolated within their home they lose social contact, miss doctor appointments and lose track of medications.  One hospitalization leads to another and a downward spiral begins. It’s not a happy story but one we see all too often.

So, when is it time?  If you can no longer drive, start services.  If it takes three days to clean the house and you are wiped out for the next three, it’s time.  Have someone come in and do the jobs you no longer like doing.  They can make meals, clean up, help keep things organized. Start with a little.  Work up as needed.  Get used to having someone around when you have the opportunity to decide if you like them.  Try services out to see what works.  Having a little help now can prevent requiring a huge amount of help later.  Take charge by taking care of yourself.

This article was published in the November 2017 edition of the Helping Seniors of Brevard County newsletter which is nestled in the middle of  Senior Scene Magazine.

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