Spending time with family members is the hallmark of the holidays. With the kids on break from school and extended time off from the workplace, it’s the ideal chance for the generations to get together and enjoy each other’s company. It is, however, also the opportune time to check in on the health, safety and wellbeing of our senior loved ones.
Particularly when our aging loved ones live at a distance, it can be difficult to uncover through phone calls, emails, and even Skype precisely how they’re doing. An in-person visit is the easiest way to determine any potential issues through simple observations in and around the residence. The senior elder care team at Grace Home Care, providers of the best Alzheimer’s care Topeka and the surrounding areas has to offer, shares the warning signs to watch for when visiting older adults during the holiday season.
Changes in the Home
A home that has usually been sparkling clean and well maintained may have become messy and unsanitary. Mountains of clothing, stacks of mail, dishes in the sink, and spoiled or expired (or no) food in the fridge and cupboards can all suggest the senior’s problems with housecleaning and grocery shopping. Furthermore, scorch marks on pots could be the result of food left on the stove for too long – placing the senior at serious risk for harm. While it may be difficult to evaluate, another typical issue is the senior’s lack of ability to manage finances. Look for unopened letters and unpaid bills, or any discussion about the utilities being turned off or bill collectors contacting the senior.
Changes in Appearance
If the older adult seems unkempt with mismatching or unclean clothing and indicators of poor hygiene practices, she may be struggling with problems getting into or out of the shower or tub; or, it could be the result of cognitive decline. Also take note of whether the senior has gained or lost weight without trying, which could be caused by a health concern that requires medical attention. And, if any bruising is noted, this could relate to falls or even physical abuse. In any of these instances, a visit with the primary care physician as soon as possible is warranted.
Changes in Personality
Pay close attention to any variances noted in the senior’s mood and mental functioning. Does she appear to be withdrawn? Irritated? Forgetful? Has she become disinterested in pastimes and pursuits that were previously enjoyable for her? Is she having trouble sleeping – either too much sleep or too little? Does she seem to be encountering mood swings? Is she engaged in socializing?
When changes such as these are recognized, it may be time to give consideration to the assistance of a professional in-home senior elder care provider, such as Grace Home Care. Our services are customized to meet each person’s requirements, whether just a little help around the home with housework, meals and errand-running, personal care assistance such as help with safe bathing and dressing, specialized care for those with cognitive difficulties, or even full-time, live-in care.