VNA | Time for home health care?
How do I Know if It’s Time for Home Health Care?
Are Mom or Dad having a hard time managing in their home? It’s sometimes hard to know if you need to step in with a helping hand - especially if you live far away.
Luckily, the Covenant Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), with its wide array of core, high-tech and specialized services is right here to help.
The next time you visit or chat on the phone, please use this checklist of warning signs to determine if there’s a problem:
If You Visit in Person...
A personal visit to your loved one’s home is the best way to determine their health and well-being. Along with the checklist below, asking them questions will help you assess their condition.
Examine Their Clothes
Examine Their Personal Hygiene and Appearance
- Is your loved one getting out of pajamas during the day?
- Is his or her clothing stained?
- Does he or she appear healthy?
- Is he or she losing weight?
- Does he or she have any unusual bruises?
- Is his or her hair combed?
- Has he stopped shaving?
- Are teeth being brushed regularly?
- Does she continue wearing makeup?
Look Around The Home
- Does he or she move around the home easily?
- Is the house as clean now as in the past?
- Is mail, garbage or clutter accumulating?
- Are there unpleasant odors (be sure to check cupboards and the refrigerator)?
- Check expiration dates on food.
- Check Medicine Bottles
Are there many different prescriptions?
- Do the medications come from different doctors and different pharmacies?
- Are the medications expired?
If You Visit By Phone...
It takes a little more effort to check someone’s well-being by phone. But you can ask questions that will give you information about your loved one’s physical and mental status.
- Ask what was eaten for breakfast. If he or she can’t remember or the meal seems to lack nutritional value, it could indicate a problem.
- Ask about their last haircut. Send a new type of toothpaste, then ask how it’s working. Not keeping up with personal hygiene is another sign that someone needs help.
- To check memory, call two days in a row and ask about the previous conversation.
- Ask about routine activities such as church or bingo. An early sign of depression is withdrawal from social activities.
- Ask about routine home and vehicle maintenance to make sure it’s being done.
- Listen for differences in speech patterns. Some patterns are warning signs of medical problems that need immediate attention.
- Ask if there have been any recent falls, slips or trips in or around the home. Falls are a leading cause of injury.
- Learn the medication schedule and then ask, “Now, remind me again, what’s that pill you take in the morning?” Your loved one may not be taking medicine at the times the doctor prescribed.
If the answers to this checklist indicate a problem, it’s time to seek professional help. The Covenant VNA is a trusted choice for people seeking quality, cost-effective care in the comfort of their own home. Please call the Covenant Visiting Nurse Association today at 1-800-VNA-4-YOU (862-4968).