Caregiver's Toolkit for the Holidays
There are over 90 million Americans traveling this year during the holiday season and with many adult children visiting their parents it’s a great opportunity to check on the health of your loved ones and make sure they have the care they need. Recently I worked with A Place for Mom on their Caregiver’s toolkit and provided a check list of 5 Easy Ways to Asses Safety and Well-Being of Aging Parents as well as an Interview Guide to learn about the life of your parents and help guide the conversation of planning for their future.
When visiting your senior loved ones bring this checklist with you to help remember what you should be looking out for:
Take stock of their home. Look for stacks of unopened mail and piles of laundry. Does the home appear reasonably clean and tidy, or is there unusual clutter? Are there other clues that declining health is impacting mobility?
Check the fridge. Is there outdated or spoiled food that might indicate an inability to go to the grocery store or market? This could be another sign of limited mobility, or a cognitive issue if they are not aware that the food is spoiled.
Check the cabinets. Are there misplaced items like cleaning supplies in the food pantry, or expired prescriptions in the medicine cabinet? Such occurrences could indicate confusion, memory loss or impaired cognitive ability.
Assess your loved one’s appearance. Are mom and dad well groomed, do you notice any significant weight loss or gain? Physical changes are often clues to other issues.
Watch your loved one. Are they able to hear well, follow conversations and recognize other family members? Do they interact equally well in an unfamiliar environment? Cognitive difficulties can be an indication of deteriorating health.
Read more about the helpful tools from A Place for Mom here.