In today’s society, it can be easy to get so caught up with work, honey-do lists, shuttling the kids around to sports, and finding moments to catch our breath that we forget to take time out of our busy schedules to see our relatives.
Even if you make an effort to see your family during widely celebrated holidays, there is still a lot of time in between each visit.
While the time seems to fly by for those who have to juggle work, family, and social lives, for our elderly loved ones the days between family visits can seem long and lonely. Which is why May 18 became nationally known as Visit Your Relatives day.
During this annual one-day campaign, people are encouraged to plan a visit with relatives they don’t see very often. You could grab a bite to eat, go to the movies, hit the bowling lanes or more. While the point of the day is to have fun, we recommend also utilizing the time to check in with your elderly loved one to make sure their health and living situation is acceptable.
18+ Signs Your Elderly Loved One Needs Help
You don’t have to come out and ask them directly. In fact, we recommend that you strategically spend a little time at your elderly loved one’s place of residence, and quietly take in the surroundings. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for:
- Stacks of unopened mail. Be especially wary of unopened bills or letters from creditors.
- Overgrown lawn and garden. A little overgrown isn’t bad but if it looks like a jungle it might be time to recommend hiring some help.
- New collections of medicine. Sometimes telling children you’re sick or need new medication can be difficult for our elderly loved ones.
- Check out the fridge and pantry. Is there a lot of expired food? Multiples of the same item? Less food than normal?
- Broken appliances. Neglected or broken-down appliances are an indicator your loved one may need some additional help.
- How do they look? Unexpected weight gain or loss? How is their hygiene?
- Do their clothes appear clean or disheveled? Is there a backload of dirty laundry?
- Are they having trouble getting around the house or getting up from a seated position?
- Is it clean or cluttered? Are the facilities functioning and clean? Is there mold anywhere?
- Does the kitchen look clean? Are there any burn marks from possible cooking accidents?
- Go for a drive with them behind the wheel. Does the car have any new dings or dents?
- How is their driving?
- Does your elderly loved one have an increase in bodily injuries or bruises from falls?
- Are they becoming forgetful?
- Is it tough for them to remember how to get common places?
- Check on their pets and house plants. Do they look healthy or neglected? Having trouble caring for other things is a big sign they could soon be struggling to take care of themselves.
- Are they still doing their hobbies? Loss in interest in long time hobbies is a sign they could possibly be depressed.
- If you have a chance, talk to their neighbors or friends. Ask them if they have noticed any changes themselves or if there is anything you should be concerned about.
This is by no means a comprehensive checklist. The bottom line is that you know your loved one better than anyone else. Most of the time your gut will tell you when it is time for them to get help. Trust your gut.
Wiser Home Care Services Can Help
When it is time to have that difficult conversation, Wiser Home Care Services will be there for you.We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one needs.
Wiser Home Care Services: Care for the ones you love!