The holidays are a time when generations of family members gather around delicious food and share stories of the year that has passed. For adult children, however, spending time with aging parents and loved ones during the holidays can bring about quite a shock. Many times adult children are surprised at how their elderly parents are living, and notice things about their health and home that are hard to identify without face-to-face contact.
If you recently visited with elderly family members and are concerned about their ability to live independently, see if you recall any of the below warning signs or schedule another visit with them as soon as possible and take a closer look at their home or daily routine. A few things to look out for include:
- Spoiled or Missing Food – If mom used to be a tidy as June Cleaver but you noticed the fridge is filled with moldy or spoiled foods (or devoid of food altogether), you need to take a serious look at her current abilities. Is she unable to drive to the grocery store? Is it getting difficult for her to safely navigate the kitchen? Are lifting heavy pots and pans too difficult to do without help? She may benefit from extra help from near-by family members or professional part-time caregivers in Lancaster who can help with daily tasks on an as-needed basis.
- Difficulty with Mobility – Difficulty with mobility can sometimes be difficult to detect because some change in one’s walking pace is expected with age. However, changes in mobility can be more than your dad’s slow shuffle when he walks. See if he’s having difficulty getting up from a seated position? Does he spend most of his day sitting? Is his balance more shaky than usual? It may be time to schedule an appointment with his doctor or primary care physician.
- Lack of Hygiene – Noticeable declines in your parent’s personal hygiene are a big sign that they need help with their daily routine. If they aren’t showering or bathing, their house has become dirty or cluttered, or there’s a strong smell of urine in the home, then you should sit down with your parent and talk to them about what they may need help with. Is it their physical health that’s lead to the decline or is a more serious issue the problem?
- Medication Management – When you’re visiting, try to keep an eye on how frequently your loved one is taking medications. Are they taking them too often? Are they not taking them enough? Take a look through the medicine cabinet and make sure that all prescriptions are up to date. It’s also a good idea to double check and make sure that none have serious interactions with other medications.
One of the most terrifying prospects for an elderly person is leaving their home. If you think your parent might need some living assistance, approach them gently and show them how you are on their team and are here to help find a solution. One great compromise is Lancaster home care, a service that provides seniors with the professional support and assistance they need, all from the comfort of home.
To learn more about part-time or 24 hour care in Lancaster, call (717) 540-4663 and speak with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance today.