Knowing When You Need a Caregiver

caregiver attending to a patient

When a loved one’s health becomes poor, it becomes an effort for their support group to balance their own work and families with giving their loved one the proper care. This is where some families will consider a caregiver.

You’ll question if extra care is needed, but how can you be sure? Check out some of these steps towards setting up extra care for your loved ones.

Signs You Need a Caregiver 

The need for care might be communicated to you straightforward; however, this is a rare case. As most people tend to hold on to their independence, you’ll need to trust a few observational skills. Some indicators would include:

  • You notice your loved one has difficulty balancing. This can include getting out of their chair or moveing around unsteadily.
  • You believe they have a high risk of falling.
  • They live alone and don’t have anyone nearby that can help or someone who spends time with them consistently.
  • You notice their once tidy home is neglected. A few signs of this include stacks of unopened mail or spoiled food.
  • You notice considerable weight loss and loss of interest in their hobbies.
  • You notice several minor injuries that have accumulated such as bruises or burns.


Communicating the need for extra care can be a sensitive matter. Be sure that you’ve gathered enough information if you believe a caregiver is a good idea. Remember that people like their independence. A key note to make is that most people in need of care would prefer a family member caring for them.

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It can be difficult for them to accept the change and it may take several conversations over a period of time where you simply talk about options and safety. Start with the minimal if you can. This may be a topic other family members should be a part of, and their primary physician should be consulted as well.

Expenses of a Caregiver

If you’ve come to an agreement that a caregiver would be a good idea, ask your physician for a list of service providers in your area. You can go over them together and assess what you are able to contribute to paying for the services.

Your insurance won’t always cover personal care. This is an important conversation to have with your loved one and contributing family or friends. Many family members will become certified as a caregiver so they can stay still be paid while staying home with their loved one.

In-home Medical Care

Sometimes our loved one will need additional medical care in the home, too. A caregiver or aid is not qualified to perform these skills, so this is something you should also discuss with the physician. To receive home health care, the doctor will need to order it.

Your insurance may cover all or part of these expenses. Again, you will choose a home health provider that you like. They will visit to do an in-home assessment and determine the extent of care required. Home health services typically visit a few times a week.

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More Attentive Care

If you discover that your loved one’s needs are more than can be met by a caregiver and/or home health care, you may need to consider placement in an assisted living facility where staff is on hand 24/7 to provide medical care, needed therapies, and manage medications.

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