Recognising the Needs of Ageing Parents

As our parents age, their needs change, and sometimes, the familiar comfort of their own home starts feeling less manageable. It’s a tough question for families: when is it time for home care, and how do we even begin navigating this complex system?

Before diving into home care options, it’s crucial to recognise when support is truly needed. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Declining physical abilities: Difficulty with daily tasks like bathing, dressing or managing medications.
  • Memory lapses: Increasing forgetfulness, confusion or difficulty following routines.
  • Neglecting self-care: Poor hygiene, malnutrition or disregard for safety hazards in the home.
  • Social isolation: Withdrawal from activities and friends, loneliness or depression.
  • Frequent falls or accidents: Increased risk of injury due to mobility issues.

If you notice several of these signs, it’s time to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one. Remember, approaching the topic with empathy and understanding is key.

We understand that caring for an ageing loved one can be both rewarding and challenging. There comes a time when the familiar comfort of their home might need some additional support. Transitioning to home care can be daunting, but you don’t have to navigate it alone.

Five steps to help you get started with home care

1. Heart-to-Heart: Have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about their needs, preferences, and any concerns they might have. Sharing the decision-making empowers them and fosters understanding.

2. Helping Hand: My Aged Care is your one-stop resource for all things aged care. They offer a helpline (1800 200 422) and a website ( full of valuable information and support.

3. ACAT Assessment: An Aged Care Assessment Team will visit your loved one to evaluate their needs and determine their eligibility for home care packages or other services.

4. Finding the Right Fit: Based on the assessment, you’ll receive options for different home care packages and providers. Take your time researching, comparing packages based on budget, location and your loved one’s specific needs.

5. Choosing with Confidence: Look for reputable providers with qualified staff, positive reviews, and a genuine understanding of your loved one’s unique situation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and visit facilities before making a decision.

Many families face similar challenges, so seek support from friends, family and professional resources. Be flexible and adapt your plan as needed, because this is a journey, not a destination. Ultimately, home care is about enhancing the quality of life for both your loved one and yourself.