Your Holiday Senior Safety Checklist
The holiday season has arrived and it is a time when families get together from near and far. The holiday get-togethers provide the perfect opportunity to take inventory on how well your older loved ones are doing.
Everyone wants their parents to be strong and capable of taking care of themselves so sometimes when we visit we go in with blinders. We don't always realize that they need help because we don't want to face the fact that they are getting older. Just as many of us do when we visit with family - they too put their best foot forward, they might tidy up the house and go buy fresh food because they know they are having company. They lead us to believe that all is well, but you need to look deeper to truly see if they need any extra help.
My recommendation for everyone this holiday season is to take a realistic look at the way your loved ones have been living. Is the food in their refrigerator outdated? Are they taking the garbage out regularly? Check out their bathrooms, are they clean? Do they have soap and clean towels?
One of the most important things is to assess whether they are taking their pills and or medications. Have their perceptions been refilled? Are they TOO full and they aren't taking them? Do not leave with out obtaining a full list of every prescription your parent (or family member who's care you are responsible for) is taking as well as the prescription numbers. The list should also include ALL of their doctors with their phone numbers, addresses and email. No one knows what life will bring tomorrow so it is very important to have a family meeting to discuss future plans if anything was to happen to one or both parents.
To help get you started, my colleagues at A Place For Mom has put together a list of the 55 most important questions for you to ask when you make your holiday visit. It will help you assess the physical and mental state of your loved ones and assure you that they are safe and that their home is equipped for daily affairs. It is a wonderful and comprehensive list and they didn't forget a thing so I wanted to share it with you.