How To Determine The Level of Home Care a Senior Needs

Leslie & Steve Whatley, Owners & Operators

Often when people call us they’re not sure about what needs their loved ones have and how to go about assessing those needs. And often people are afraid to ask to ask their loved ones what they need, because they assume that they will not agree to accept any kind of help, or might resist.


We want you to know that it’s okay to ask! You’d be surprised at how many people will say, “Yes, I know I need some help.” But they might not know what that means, or what kind of help they need or how to go about getting it.

If they’re not sure what kind of help they need, ask them questions about what times of day they find themselves having more needs. Just have a conversation about it. It can be helpful to get a sheet of paper and ask about different times of day, morning, noon and night. Have them write down, or write down for them, when they find that they’re needing additional help and what that might be. Just ask them, “What time of day do you find yourself having more needs?” And walk them through their day.

You’d be surprised at how many people say “I do know I’m starting to need a little more help in the mornings,” or at bedtime, or they’ll tell you that they do well during the middle of the day and don’t need any help then.


Usually we find that it’s tasks that people start noticing they’re going to need some help with, like getting breakfast in the mornings, or a meal at noon, or some light house cleaning because they just don’t have the energy. Or maybe they’ll start to realize that maybe they need a little more help getting going in the morning in general. Or maybe at bedtime, to help with getting things situated for bed, maybe for medications reminders, or whatever help they might need.


If they have a visual of what they’re doing throughout the day, so that they can see how when it arises that they need someone there to help them with things, then they can look and see and realize that maybe they don’t need someone all the time. Maybe they just need someone to come in in the mornings to help them get going for the day. And then they’ll see that this is a doable thing. They don’t need someone all day. They can afford to have someone come in maybe three times a week, if they just need someone to come in and help them catch up on their laundry or going to the grocery to get some food in the house.


So just ask. If they’re not able to verbalize, you can go in and assess the situation yourself. Take a good look around. Do they have food in the house? Do they need their linens washed? Are their clothes in disarray? Just jot all that down and you can use your list to estimate how many hours a week they need someone to come in and help them. Don’t be afraid! And whatever you decide now, it’s not written in stone or locked in. You can always adjust how often you’re having someone come in. It’s always a work in progress! Needs change all the time. Where your loved one may need help with something one week, the next week they may need help getting to a doctor’s appointment instead. And we can adjust that way. It’s a fluid thing.

But the main thing is, just ask! They really will let you know, most of the time, what their needs are. Do you have a loved one who may need our help? Give us a call!