real life

The subtle signs your loved one is ready to move into an aged care home.

For every member of a family, deciding to put a loved one in aged care is a decision that comes with thoughtful analysis and it’s own very particular emotional toll.

So how can you make sure you’re making the right decision, and one that’s best for all parties involved?

The BlueCross have told Mamamia there are 10 key signs your loved one is ready, whether those signs are subtle or more obvious.

The subtle signs your loved one needs higher care:

1. Self-Care

According to BlueCross Community and Residential Services, if your loved one is having increased difficulty looking after themselves, it’s time. Their clothes may be soiled, hair and nails are unkept, and they may avoid bathing due to it being difficult to access the bath or shower.

2. Not eating properly or drinking water regularly

Indicators that your loved one is not eating or drinking regularly include weight loss, dehydration or confusion. You may want to check the contents of their fridge to see if food is being regularly eaten.

3. They rarely leave the house

Social isolation and feelings of loneliness are unfortunately common, BlueCross say. Your loved one may be at risk of depression, due to the loss of friends or family. They may also be experiencing a loss in confidence in travelling on transport or visiting the local shop.

4. They feel unsafe

They have expressed feelings of uneasiness or fear of living at home. They may feel that they are vulnerable and are a greater target for criminals, or that if they fall and are alone there will be no one there to help them. They may even fear things like accidentally leaving the stove or iron on.

5. Burden to children

Older people have typically been carers for most of their lives, but don’t cope well with being cared for. They are reluctant to accept help from the people closest to them, fearing a loss of dignity or being a burden to those they have raised.

"They have expressed feelings of uneasiness or fear of living at home." Image via iStock.

The obvious signs your loved one needs care:

6. Confusion

They don’t know when they last ate, when they last showered or how to do the simple tasks their done their whole life.

7. Not taking medications

They have a habit of forgetting to take their medication, and this may be putting their health at risk.

8. Lessened mobility, feeling fatigued

They are frail, and may experience shortness of breath after walking short distances. They also feel tired most of the time.

9. Falls and illness

They have falls often or have a growing list of illnesses which they find difficult to manage by themselves.

10. Increased hospitalisation

They have frequent admissions to hospital, and the length of their stays is increasing over time.

If you need help navigating aged care the BlueCross client relations team can help find the best answers for you. Call 1300 133 414 or visit their website.