The Holidays are a festive time of year to gather with family while sharing old memories and creating new ones. Since most seniors won’t admit that they’re having trouble performing activities of daily living (ADLs), visiting parents during holidays also provides the perfect opportunity to conduct a wellness check. However, knowing what to look for while in your parent’s home can be challenging. No matter what Holidays your family celebrates, these “red flags” could indicate that your aging parents need some help.
Stacks of dirty dishes in the sink, piles of unwashed laundry, unpleasant odors, and stained carpets could all indicate there’s a problem. Have any of Mom and Dad’s appliances or windows been broken for a while? Is their garage “decorated” with bags of trash and other clutter?
Fall-related injuries and fractures send millions of seniors to hospital emergency departments every year, and some lose their independence permanently as a result. Vision changes, poorly lit stairways, and slippery bathroom surfaces are all fall hazards for older adults.
If Mom or Dad has fallen several times in the past year, here’s how to help:
- Create clutter-free pathways throughout the home.
- Install handrails and grab bars in the bathroom, and on both sides of stairs.
- Schedule an eye exam.
- Speak with an occupational therapist about how to create a safer home environment.
If Mom and Dad have received several tickets or been involved in multiple accidents, it may be time to have “the talk” about driving safety. Suspicious dents and scrapes on their vehicle could also be a sign that turning over the car keys might be in your parents’ best interests. Respectfully discussing the topic with them and offering transportation alternatives will help you sleep better at night.
Stacks of unopened bills with “Past Due” notices may be a sign that your parents are having trouble managing their finances. Offer to become a custodian on their bank and credit card accounts, which will also help protect them from financial scammers. If Mom and Dad don’t already have one, encourage them to complete a will and to designate you or another trustworthy individual to serve as their durable power-of-attorney (POA).
Poor Medication Mismanagement
For one reason or another, many older adults don’t take their prescription medications as they should. Medication compliance is essential for keeping chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure under control. To ensure your parents take their meds as prescribed, help them create a medication management program that includes refill reminders and follow-up doctor visits.
Changes in Appearance
Losing or gaining excessive weight, wearing the same clothes every day, and poor hygiene are all signs that your loved ones might need assistance. Cognitive red flags like memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness could indicate the onset of dementia.
Not Socializing Enough
Depression, anxiety, and dementia oftentimes keep older adults from socializing enough – an issue that’s exacerbated during the Holidays. On the other hand, seniors that stay socially engaged tend to enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives than those who are lonely and isolated.
Introduce your parents to Holiday activities they might enjoy at the local senior center. Show them how to use the latest technologies, like video chats, online communities, and social media to stay in touch with old friends or make new ones.
How You Can Help
When age-related changes are threatening your parent’s quality of life and independence, volunteer to assist them around the house by preparing meals, doing laundry, cleaning up, etc. If you suspect that either one has cognitive impairment, schedule them a doctor’s appointment so they can be evaluated thoroughly.
If you are too busy to help or live far away, another option is to hire a professional in-home caregiver from a reputable home care provider.
Family Trusted Home Care for Seniors in Elkhart, IN
Senior1Care is your trusted partner in providing quality, compassionate home care services to seniors living in Elkhart, Dunlap, Jamestown, and Goshen, IN. Our experienced caregivers are trained to deliver professional, reliable care in the same respectful and friendly manner that they would treat their own family members.
At Senior1Care, we understand that having a caregiver in your loved one’s home is a decision that requires trust. Our goal is to build relationships with clients by listening to their needs and providing the highest level of quality care possible. We are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their well-being, independence, and comfort. To learn more about our flexible caregiving options or schedule a FREE assessment for a senior in the greater Elkhart, IN, area, visit us by clicking here now.