Holidays are just around the corner which means time to visit good ol’ mom and dad. While Thanksgiving is a time for eating and catching up, you may also notice your loved ones are getting older and want to make sure they are receiving the support they need. It can be difficult for seniors to reach out and admit they need help so you might be wondering how am I supposed to know if they’re okay? There are warning signs you should be aware of and look out for to know if it’s time to get care for your loved one.
When visiting your loved one over the holidays, take a look in their pantry and refrigerator. Is it fully stocked? Is the food outdated? Any produce? Do their pantry and fridge look like they are getting the nutrition they need? Besides, looking at their kitchen items, look at them! Are they eating meals at appropriate times? Do they eat enough? These are questions you should be asking to make sure your loved one is maintaining good eating habits because a healthy, balanced diet is necessary to avoid health and other related problems.
You should also take a look at their appearance and how they are taking care of themselves. Is there clothing appropriate for that time of day/season of the year? Are they maintaining good hygiene habits such as brushing their teeth and taking showers? While these questions may seem invasive, we promise it’s not. These are some obvious signs to look for to make sure they can still take care of themselves on their own.
If your loved one keeps their home and surroundings tidy, it can be easy to spot a problem. Are clothes piled up in the hamper? Sink full of dishes? Clutter on the floor? A dirty house is not only a sign that your loved one is struggling, it could also be linked to health and safety risks.
There are a few ways to tell if your loved one is safely managing their finances. Are bills unopened and piled up on the counter? Are they receiving calls from bill collectors? Your loved one having trouble with finances can cause them to pay the same bill twice and neglect others.
If your loved one has to take medication, make sure they are taking the right amount. You want to make sure they are not forgetting to take it and that they don’t take too much or too little. According to Sunrise Senior Living, mistakes with medication are a leading reason seniors end up in the emergency room every year. This is why medication management is one of the most commonly utilized services in senior living communities.
Isolation is a big problem among older adults, as is depression. Is your loved one no longer doing social activities they love? Are they losing touch with their friends and family? Social interaction is a key part of healthy aging as it prevents cognitive decline and they are less prone to loneliness. Transportation or another concern can cause your loved one to be less social and isolate themselves.
Even if it is just a small bump into the curb or garage door, small accidents can indicate your loved one is no longer safe to be behind the wheel. Their driving habits are linked to their reflex, vision, and hearing abilities.
Looking out for these signs when visiting your loved one during the holidays can help keep them safe and maintain their quality of life before it is too late. Don’t let your mom’s mashed potatoes distract you!
1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.