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Assessing Aging Loved One’s Needs during Holiday Visits

Visiting mom or dad around the holidays is not necessarily just about celebration and events. As a matter of fact, this is an opportunity for the adult child and perhaps other family members to really assess the needs of their senior loved ones. Whether your aging parent lives a distance away, or other factors limit paying a visit, Home Care Assistance of Harrisburg offers a few quick-and-easy ways to assess the health and wellness of your loved one.
Physical Appearance

One important part of assessing whether or not the parent may need help involves their physical appearance. Does your parent seem unkempt? Is clothing clean and properly fitting? Are they free of body odor? Weight loss and signs of poor grooming or hygiene should serve as a red flag that the parent needs intervention with activities of daily living.

Physical Ability

How does your elderly loved one navigate through the home? Are they steady on their feet? Watching the senior while they perform basic tasks such as cooking, walking through the home and changing positions can serve as a great clue to any safety concerns. Even if your loved one has an assistive device such as a cane or walker, frequent reminders for use, or improper use can also indicate a problem.

A Quick Glance

Take a quick look in the refrigerator, cupboards and medicine cabinet to do an accurate assessment. You should be looking to ensure that there is adequate food, and to make sure that prescriptions have been filled. Other things to take a look at can include tidiness of the home. Piles of laundry and clutter may mean several different things, but can also be related to physical abilities.

Other Assessment Components

You may also want to see if your elderly loved one is becoming forgetful. During conversation they may lose their words, repeat the same things or at times, even become confused. While some memory loss is a natural part of the aging process, repetitive actions and speech and disorientation can be a warning sign of more serious conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

After the Assessment

The above mentioned areas are just a few things that families of an elderly loved one should be looking at. If you notice they are struggling with any part of their daily activities, a conversation should be had about their abilities and possible options for help. For many seniors, this is a difficult topic to discuss in fear of losing their home or independence. Reassure your loved one that you are only trying to help and offer solutions that allow your loved one to remain in the comfort of home such as part-time, overnight or live-in home care in Harrisburg.  With the support of a highly trained and compassionate home caregiver, your loved one can receive the help they need, and you can enjoy peace of mind knowing they are in professional and caring hands.

To learn more about home care, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Harrisburg at 717-540-4663 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.