Aged care: How to tell if someone might need support

senior man sitting in chair with his family


Aged care: How to tell if someone might need support

senior man sitting in chair with his family


Ageing is a natural process each of us will go through. And although each one of us may differently experience the changes that come with age, what we can control to some extent, is ageing well.

With age comes the need for a bit more support doing the things that were easier earlier. But how does one know when is the right time to start thinking about getting some help, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one? 

Getting support doesn’t mean loss of independence

Quite the opposite, in fact. Although confronting what might be a painful reality for the person, aged care support doesn’t mean giving in or handing over control to others. Actually, support on one’s terms is the very opposite of this.

When the person takes control of their own life and decides for themselves what help they need and when, you are in a position of autonomy. Through Mable — which offers this freedom of choice and control — you can choose what support you want, who should provide you support and when.

When is the right time? 

A big health event, such as a stroke or a surgery with unfortunate complications, will naturally result in needing additional support at home. 

There are, however, many other seemingly insignificant events or occurrences, for which one should keep an eye out. These aren’t brought on by a health catastrophe, but rather, are hints and reminders that it might be time to look into support.

Look out for these signs

The garden looks untended 

The person — a loved one, a friend, a parent or a grandparent — who always loved gardening, is not able to tend to it as much these days. As a result, the yard looks shabby, the lawn is overgrown with weeds, etc. 

Aged care support isn’t just about tending to personal care needs. Sometimes it’s the peripheral things, like help with garden maintenance. 

The house is messier than usual

Like the yard, they may be struggling to keep on top of the housework. It may not be all the cleaning, but certain tasks that they now find a bit hard or tiresome. 

They might, for instance, not clean as well in corners or on top of the shelves for the fear of falling or lack of flexibility. Or the vacuuming might not be done as often as it should. 

Mable also offers cleaning support services.

They’ve stopped going out as much

Probably one of the more common signs that something’s amiss, if you notice the person — who was once extremely social and outgoing — isn’t socially participative anymore, this might be a red flag. If the things that used to bring them joy no longer do, it might be time to reach out for help. 

Through Mable, you can find and book an independent support worker to support them with transport, drive them to places and accompany them on outings. This will enable them to feel engaged and connected. 

They are experiencing near misses, like falls

For many older adults, there is a precursor to having a fall — a near miss, i.e. almost falling. They are starting to feel more and more unsteady on their feet. When these near misses start happening more often (in addition to injuries that can occur, such as bruising or bumps), this is an indicator that increased support may be needed. 

This could help you to avoid significant injury because the tasks which were putting you at risk of falling are now being done for you. A support worker could also assist you when in the community to further reduce your risk of falling.

Communication difficulties

Things like forgetting to take the bins in more than a few times, finding it hard to talk on your feet, forgetting how to get somewhere familiar and taking longer than usual to respond to questions could all be signs of dementia. Even if it’s not, these challenges can cause behavioural changes in the person, impacting their daily life. 

You can book a support worker to help them out in a number of ways – helping them stay mentally agile, physically active, providing companionship and social assistance. You can also find dementia-trained support workers through Mable. 

Managing administrative tasks is becoming challenging 

Do you often see bills and mail piled up in a corner, unopened? Why is that? Have they always deftly managed household finances but are suddenly struggling? 

A drop in personal hygiene practices

Little things like showering less, not shaving or grooming, not getting dressed for the day, leaving dirty dishes in the sink and not washing or drying clothes are all examples of a drop in personal standards. 

Again, support is available in the form of a support worker coming to your home and ensuring you are cared for properly, so your health and wellbeing are enhanced. 

Weight loss and nutritional concerns   

While weight loss and reduced muscle tone can happen as we age, this can also suggest nutritional deficiency. Do you notice the person isn’t eating well, not cooking sufficiently well anymore, forgetting to stock their fridge or pantry?

A support worker can be booked through Mable to assist them with meal planning, preparation, shopping, and even taking them to their GP for a nutritional check. 

Get support

If you’ve noticed your loved ones struggling lately, it might be time to have a conversation with them to help them accept the need for additional support. 

With the right support in place, all of these indicators for needing assistance can be addressed to help you age well at home and continue to maintain independence. When you do feel it’s time to reach out, know that there are thousands of independent support workers you can find through Mable. Book a support worker today.


Research indicates that most older Australians want to age in place – that is they want to stay living in their own home rather than move into an aged care facility. While our health is often the great decider in this, you can certainly stay living in your own home for as long as possible with the right support.

If you want to age in place, a Home Care Package will provide a lot of support options for you. As a matter of fact, you can self-manage your home care package through Mable to get the most out of your funding. To receive a home care package, you have to be eligible for one. Learn more about eligibility requirements for a home care package. However, you can find and book independent support workers on Mable even if you don’t have access to a home care package, and choose to pay privately for support.

Home care aims to help you live independently in your own home for as long as possible. Residential care is there for people who need a higher level of care to meet their health and personal care needs, that might not be able to be provided in the home. Learn more about the differences between the two.