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How to know when your elderly relative needs extra help at home

How to know when your elderly relative needs extra help at home
March 22, 2023

Talking to elderly relatives about getting extra help at home is a difficult conversation. Here is some guidance on when is the right time to start considering if a loved one needs additional care and how to discuss it with them.

Starting a discussion with elderly relatives about whether they need help at home is always going to be difficult. It’s a very sensitive topic as your loved one is trying to come to terms with the fact they need more support and may feel like they’re losing their independence. It can also be difficult to recognise when a loved one may need extra support at home as it can be hard for you to come to terms with it with yourself.

If you're worried it may be time to get your loved one extra support at home, we have put together some guidance on how to know if it's the right time to start considering whether they need additional care. 

1. What changes have there been in their physical abilities, cognitive function or behaviour? Often changes in people's physical and cognitive abilities are gradual so can go unnoticed. Take a step back and consider whether there has been a significant decline that is making it hard for them to live as they are.

2. How do these changes impact their day-to-day life? Can any mobility issues be helped by introducing home aids, or is there more support required at home to help with bathing, grooming and general household responsibilities?

3. What level of care do they require? Is it a case of installing mobility aids for their safety, and investing in their comfort or do they require more around-the-clock care?

4. Think about your own needs and abilities. Can you physically care for and be there for them as much as they need? If you have your own responsibilities or live further away this can make it hard to meet their care needs.

If you keep dropping it into conversations, making small adjustments to the way they live, or implementing mobility aids into their home this will make it more of a gradual process.


What types of mobility and home aids can help at home?

Mobility and home aids make life much easier, safer and more comfortable. Mobility aids can help individuals feel more confident when walking around and doing other daily activities. They are designed to help people move around; assisting individuals in and out of the home to enable them to live independently for longer.


Walking frames

• Canes

Mobility scooters

Home aids include a wide range of products that can be installed throughout the home to help with a variety of everyday activities. This can range from shower stools to bed rails or leg rests to over-bed tables. Here is a range of different home aids that can be used throughout your house:

Bed rails

Shower stools and chairs


Leg rests



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