For some, holiday gatherings deliver an unwanted gift: the realization that an aging relative is losing the ability to live independently. With relatives coming together to celebrate, adult children can be alarmed to discover that their loved one is no longer able to care for themselves. Here are some warning signs (note: these are such guidelines; you know your loved one better than anyone so if you notice changes and are concerned contact a doctor or geriatric care manager immediately)
- Your loved one is having trouble paying bills on time when normally they never miss a payment. A stack of unopened mail could just be a sign of holiday stress rather than an inability to care for oneself.
- They aren’t eating right and are neglecting to shop for groceries or prepare meals. Whether this is due to fatigue or other medical ailments, this could be an important change that means they need local help like Meals on Wheels or daily assistance in a nursing care facility.
- They are no longer taking showers, dressing themselves properly or taking their medicine. This could be a sign of memory loss or other medical issues and should be addressed immediately.
- You notice bumps or bruises on your loved one. This may be a sign that they are having trouble getting up or down from the bed or chair and may need assistance to prevent a serious fall or injury.
SeniorHomes.com states that on average site inquiries are 58 percent higher in the weeks after Christmas than in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
According to Leslie Leonard’s article in US News & World Report, “Even if mom or dad isn’t ready for such a drastic change, families shouldn’t wait to make these types of inquiries until after a loved one’s mental or physical capacity has diminished. For adult children it’s important to start asking the questions and to start the conversation with parents and siblings,” Rodde said. “A lot of people avoid the conversation in the first place until things get really bad.”
If you are concerned about a loved, contact us today for a geriatric assessment and individual/family consultation to explore the best care options available.
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