During this holiday season, we spend countless hours wrapping, addressing, baking, cleaning and spending time with our loved ones, many of them seniors. As you visit with your loved ones, take a look around for signs that they may need help:
Inside the Home
- The kitchen is filled with dirty dishes, burned pots, food and possible infestations. Mom has always been a great cook but occasionally forgets to turn off the stove or gets too tired to wash the dishes.
- The refrigerator has expired or moldy food and possibly non-food items inside. Cleaning out the refrigerator is not a fun task, but Mom has found it overwhelming to throw away food and/or may not remember where to put items.
- The clutter is piling up. Mom and Dad may not want to admit that maintaining their home is becoming an overwhelming task.
- The mail is stuffed with bills and late notices. Dad used to pay the bills two weeks ahead of time but is now faced with possible shut-offs or late fees.
- Your parents have body odor. Perhaps Dad is afraid to bathe because he has fallen in the bathtub. Mom may not remember when she last bathed but insists that she does not need an incontinence product.
- They wear the same clothes or inappropriate seasonal attire. Mom is wearing the sweater with the large coffee stain on the front that she got during the last visit you had. Dad goes out to get the mail in December without a coat or shoes.
- Mom’s clothes are baggy. She just doesn’t want to cook now that Dad has passed or the shopping can be too much trouble for one so she eats a bowl of soup and nibbles on crackers.
- They forget their medications and doctor’s appointments. Mom always reminded Dad to take his medications but the pill boxes are now unorganized or full when you visit.
- Dad has unexplained bruises or skin tears. He has fallen but refuses a cane or walker and Mom thinks it’s a natural progression of skin as she ages.
- Noticeable cognitive decline. Dad has forgotten his granddaughter’s name but still remembers his best friend from elementary school. Mom can’t remember how to work the microwave.
- Increased hospitalizations. Mom can’t control her blood sugar levels and Dad has been dizzy since he started his new blood pressure medication.
If you do notice significant signs like these, sit down with your loved ones and have a conversation about their needs. Home care agencies like Home & Hearth Caregivers are able to relieve the burden of caregiving from adult children and allow the seniors to remain in their home. We accept private pay, veteran’s benefits and long-term care insurance. Please contact us at 800-349-0663 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation assessment.