Check In On Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season
November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
This Thanksgiving while you are spending time with family and friends, take time to pay special attention to the seniors in your life. Many times we are visiting someone that we don’t see often so changes in health and mental sharpness can be more noticeable to family members that aren’t around as much. The holidays often provide an excellent opportunity to observe your loved ones and see if there are any changes in their well being. And with other family generally close at hand, there is the chance to discuss any issues and if there is need for additional care.
Depending on the length of your visit, you may want to try to observe the following:
- Status of new and pre-existing medical conditions – How is their general health? You may want to ask about common conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hearing loss, arthritis and weight gain or loss
- Memory and Emotional Changes – Is your loved one experiencing frequent memory lapses that affect their day-to-day functionality? Emotional differences to look for are changes in personality or unusual mood swings.
- Medications – Are their perscriptions organized with weekly pill boxes? Do they have a list of all the medications (perscription & over-the-counter) they are taking and have they shown the list to all of their doctors? Are they taking their perscriptions correctly? For medications to be effective, patients need to follow directions for when to take pills and with or without food, etc.
- Home Safety – Keep an eye out for issues in the home that may limit your seniors mobility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports falls are the leading cause of injury and death for Americans age 65 years and older. Many times easy adjustments like removing throw rugs, adding a night light or simply rearranging furniture can help seniors avoid hazardous situations.
- Driving – If they are still driving, take a ride with them to see how their driving ability is or ask a neighbor if they have seen any issues.
- Doctors – Do you have a list of their doctors and their contact information in case of an emergency?
- Resources – It may be a good time to find out what local resources are available in case your loved one needs some additional care in the future. Waiting until their well being is in danger will only add stress to an already tense situation.
Above all else, take the time to truly enjoy your loved ones this holiday season and remember what you have to be thankful for.
If you have any questions or concerns about a family member that may need additional care, please contact the Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. The law firm located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.