Keeping your aging loved ones safe at home for the Holidays and beyond

Home Instead Senior Care
Home Instead Senior Care
Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 03:47 PM.

As families prepare to gather for the holidays, local senior care experts are encouraging adult children to be prepared to address any physical changes that may have occurred in their senior loved ones – changes that may indicate they need assistance.

“The holidays are a great time to really observe and see how mom and dad are doing,” said Angie Berry, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care® office serving the Wiregrass Area including Henry, Houston, Dale, Coffee, Barbour and Geneva counties. “Even if you meet with some resistance when gently confronting a loved one about potential issues you may observe during your visit, it is in both your and your loved one’s best interest to find a solution that can help keep him or her safe and independent at home.”

Berry recommends looking for the following signs that could threaten your loved one’s independence.

•       Pain. Does your mother now pull up a stool by the sink to peel the potatoes? Does she wince in pain when she bends down? If you notice any red flags, gently ask her if everything is alright. Even if she tries to pretend she’s managing fine, consider helping her make a doctor’s appointment “just to be sure.”

•       Memory. Does your father have trouble recalling events from earlier in the day? Has he told you the same story over and over? You may want to keep a list of concerns to bring up with his primary care physician.

•       Depression. If you see any hints of irritability, sadness or sleep difficulties, these could be signs of depression. Depression can be a problem for seniors and should be checked out by a doctor or mental health care professional if concerns exist.

•       Social Engagement. Ask your mother to tell you about her friends. Social seniors generally have a healthier and more optimistic outlook on life. If she doesn’t have a strong social network, look into community activities that she may enjoy. Be sure to address any concerns about mobility with your senior’s physician.

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