The holidays are almost here, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time with your family, including your aging parents. So, when you are visiting them, you will have an opportunity to see how they are doing in terms of overall health, safety, and quality of life.

If you notice any red flags that indicate your elderly loved one is unable to take care of themselves and their surroundings (disheveled clothes, poor hygiene, spoiled food, unpaid bills, etc.), it may be time for some additional assistance.

Important Signs that Your Loved One Needs a Caregiver

It can be hard to watch someone you love, and depended on for so long, now struggling with routine activities like walking or eating meals on time. 

If you are not sure whether it’s time to call in extra support for your loved one, here are some signs that can help you decide:

Poor personal hygiene

Do you notice your loved one has body odor, bad breath, or dirty hair? Many aging seniors either forget to take a shower every day or they are simply not able to care for their own personal needs any longer.

A caregiver can make sure they are brushing teeth, bathing regularly, and wearing clean, washed clothes. A caregiver will also help them with activities like running errands, cooking, and doing the laundry to ensure your loved one’s general well-being is being handled.

Fall hazards all around

If  your loved one’s home has poor lighting, indoor/outdoor stairs with no railings, loose carpeting or a cluttered floor, consider making the surroundings safer and hiring a caregiver to keep an eye on them.

Statistics show that when a senior person has had one fall, it’s more likely they will have another one at some point. Fall-related injuries can be devastating for someone at their age; broken bones do much more damage to a senior since healing and recovery aren’t fast or easy. 

Signs of depression

Does your aging loved one seem isolated and disconnected from family, friends, and community? It’s essential for seniors to interact with others – it could be their family members,  someone at their church, or a neighbor – or they can end up feeling lonely.

Make sure you call them regularly via phone or video chat. You can also encourage them to participate in local community center activities where they can interact with like-minded souls. Having a caregiver will also ensure they are never isolated and have always someone they can talk to.

How to Hire the Right Caregiver?

The modern caregiving market is bursting with all-inclusive professional concierge services where they can take care of all your loved one’s needs, from cooking fresh meals three times a day to taking them to the doctor. If you can afford to spend $4,000 – $6,000 a month for a “senior” concierge, this can be a poignant option.

However, here is the catch: your elderly loved one may never agree to allow extra help from a professional because they may feel they are losing their independence. It’s never easy to admit that you are not as fit and healthy as you once were.

Also, most concierge services make you sign a long-term contract. If you or your loved one thinks it’s not working out, the last thing you need is to be stuck with a contract. 

This is why the best option would be to hire someone from your personal network, such as a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. Your loved one already knows them so they may not be as resistant to ask for their assistance when they need it. And since you know this person, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not your loved one is receiving proper care. 

Use NannyPay DIY Payroll Software 

If you choose to hire a caregiver, you can use NannyPay, a DIY household payroll software, to calculate the caregiver’s pay and pay what is commonly known as the Nanny Tax. If you end up paying them more than $2,100 a year, the software will also help you prepare the necessary nanny tax forms, such as IRS Form W-2 and Schedule H [Household Payroll Taxes]. 

Don’t fall into the trap of ‘paying under the table’ because, not only is it illegal, but it comes with a number of liability risks for your family. NannyPay will ensure your payments are recorded and your family and elderly loved one protected from unexpected nanny tax liabilities.  Not sure how it works? Why not sign up for a free, 30-day trial and check NannyPay out for yourself!