Holiday Visits With Elderly Family Members is Time to Assess Their Safety Living Alone
Look for signs that could mean your parents are no longer safe to live at home alone this holiday season
The holidays are when many families visit their aging loved ones and see them face-to-face for the first time in months or perhaps even an entire year. This is why experts advise families to carefully watch for signs of possible depression or medical issues in older adults during holiday visits, and to be prepared to develop a plan of action before heading home.
Sharon Roth Maguire, Chief Clinical Officer for BrightStar Care suggests “Family visits are a prime opportunity to not only observe for warning signs, but also provide much-needed companionship, mental stimulation and general uplifting activities. In many cases, these visits can be lifesaving.”
Here are the signs to look for to help determine if your elderly loved one is safe at home:
Confusion with Medications
Have you noticed disorder in their medications that may be sitting out on the counter, or that perhaps they haven’t taken their medication at all? Though it may be true that as the years add up, the list of medications tends to grow and may be more difficult for the older person to manage. If your older family member seems confused by all their mediations, it may be time for them to receive assistance through medication help from the pharmacy or home medication management overseen by BrightStar Care’s Director of Nursing.
Falls are an often-overlooked sign of an impending disaster for an older person. A fall can injure the spine, hip, pelvis, or knees, often leading to other complications such as pneumonia or stroke due to the decreased mobility that may result. If you notice unexplained bruising, don’t ignore the underlying cause which may be falls. BrightStar Care can help with Fall Prevention and mobility support.
Loss of Sight
Is their eyesight getting worse? Can they no longer read the labels on their medication bottles or food expiration labels? Vision issues signal it’s time to consider support with cooking and medications.
Have you noticed high credit card charges or unexplained bills? If your parent has been claiming to not have enough money to pay other bills, it may be that they need someone to hold them accountable and keep an eye on them on a daily basis. We know of older people who order gadgets they can not afford from TV advertisements. In such cases, you may have to contact the business and ask to have the family member’s name removed from the solicitation list. Purchasing behavior can be a sign that they are susceptible to fraud and scammers as well, and care is needed.
Have they been demonstrating a tendency to not go out? If an elderly parent has become isolated from friends and social activities. As people age, they can lose their social circle due to deaths or others moving closer to children or into care facilities. As this occurred, they may have lost their desire to be an active part of their community. This may be the same person who gave up their driving licence and can no longer go out to socialize with friends and family.. Combating loneliness is key to keeping a senior safe and healthy at home.
We hope the time you spend with your elderly loved one for the holidays is truly blessed and that together we can help you keep them safe and thrive in 2020. For more information on Helping Seniors Stay Safe During the Holidays - Click Here.
BrightStar Care of Morris and Essex County provides 24/7 to Hourly Care
We provide care around the clock and a full continuum of private duty home care services, including companionship, personal care, transportation and skilled nursing. We proudly serve Morristown, Madison,Rockaway, Florham Park, Flanders, Montclair, Livingston, and Whippany areas.
For more information on how BrightStar Care supports seniors and families, and to learn more about our local team of caregivers, skilled healthcare professionals, and home health care support for Morris and Essex County families and businesses CLICK HERE.