Use Holiday Visits to Assess Senior Well-Being
Hopefully, you will be able to visit your elderly mom or dad for Christmas. Please use this time to make a visual assessment of their living arrangements.
Are they eating properly? Is the house clean, are they clean? Has their hair been brushed/washed? How is their personal hygiene?
Are they still able to wash their clothes? Make sure they have soap powder and the washing machine and dryer are in good working order. Also, check to ensure the dryer is properly vented.
Check the refrigerator to ensure there is food in it and it isn’t outdated. Check the cabinets as well for outdated food.
If they have a pet, make sure there is food for the animal and the pet has been fed. Ensure the pet is well bathed and doesn’t have fleas.
See what kind of medications they are taking; do they have the correct amount of pills in the bottle? Make sure they are taking the right amount, not more, not less.
This would be a great time to go check out our blog titled, Home Safety Checklist. There are many items listed in that blog you wouldn’t even think to check.
For example, we all think to cover cords with a throw rug or carpet, right? Not in a senior’s home. It can cause a bulge in the carpet and make for a pretty good tripping hazard. Also, there should be no throw rugs at all; they can become a slip hazard. A trip or slip is the last thing anyone needs, let alone a senior.
Check the outlet covers and make sure they are on correctly. Look for loose or frayed wires on all the cords throughout the home.
Should you find yourself one of the lucky ones visiting your family members for the holidays, please “investigate” the house as thoroughly as possible. The last thing you want is to get back home and find they suffered a slip and fall or something more catastrophic.
If it looks like they just can’t take care of themselves anymore, or are alone and have given up, it may be time to consider Assisted Living.
Assisted Living does not have the stigma it once had. These communities are places where the senior can thrive and become social again.
Should you find yourself faced with the prospect of placing your loved one, please do not look to the internet for help.
Find a local placement service, they know the communities, the staff, the food, and which ones offer the best care for your loved one’s needs.