Does your loved one require more care?

Some home care is provided by licensed health care professionals and some by aides and companions who help with nonmedical daily activities.

Some home care is provided by licensed health care professionals and some by aides and companions who help with nonmedical daily activities.

Besides planning for their own retirement, many baby boomers are facing the challenge of caring for their parents or other family member.

Assessing when someone needs more than just an occasional visit to see how he or she is doing is not always easy. Here are some questions that may help you determine if your loved ones are in need of care:

• Have they started to miss appointments?

• Is their house dirty or cluttered or is laundry starting to accumulate?

• Is there spoiled food in the fridge or expired food in cabinets?

• Have they lost weight or are there any other signs of a poor diet?

• Are they showing a de­creased ability to keep up with chores, shopping and errands?

• Are they forgetting to take medication or taking more than prescribed?

• Have they let their grooming slip?

Once you have determined that your loved one needs more professional care on a more consistent basis, the question becomes: What kind of care?

Experts say there are basically two types of home care. There’s care provided by paid health care professionals who are state licensed, work per the orders of a physician and can deliver medical care in the home.

This includes care delivered by nurses, physical therapists or social workers.

The second type of care in­cludes that delivered by aides, homemakers and companions who are there to help with nonmedical daily activities so a senior can stay at home, independently, for as long as possible.

Many seniors can benefit from this nonmedical type of care, which is designed to make sure your loved one is eating properly, and that the household is being taken care of. Here are a few of the services that can be provided in your loved one’s home:

• Companionship.

• Medication reminders.

• Light housework.

• Meal preparation.

• Assistance with grooming.

• Transportation.

Home care can range from a few hours a week to full-time care. Each situation is personal and an experienced provider can help you determine what level of care your parent or loved one needs.