The holidays are a busy time with family members of all ages traveling from near and far to be together. It is one of the few times each year that we still get together with our elderly relatives. If you did this over Thanksgiving, what did you see?
Had your loved one’s personal appearance and hygiene slipped? Was the family home not as well kept as you remember? Did you notice lots of clutter, unopened mail, old newspapers, etc.? Did you open the refrigerator and find spoiled food or very little to eat? That may give you an idea of their eating habits/nutrition. Did you notice the line up of medicine bottles? Did it raise questions as to the type and number of medications they are taking and how they keep it all straight? These are but a few signs that your loved one may need outside help.
Some needs are easy to address. Hire someone to clean and remove clutter from the house. Engage someone to come in periodically to pay bills and balance the check book. This will help avoid past due bills or the occasional cancellation of service. A home handyman can take care of the small projects that are now too much for your elderly parents. Someone can come in and periodically take your folks out shopping so they have fresh food.
Other needs are more serious. Engaging a geriatric care manager can help ALL members of the family-particularly those living out of state. Geriatric Care managers have a medical background and skills that address the varying needs of elders. If a medical crisis arises a geriatric care manager can serve as your loved one’s medical advocate and be your eyes and ears.
They can arrange for assistance to be brought into the home to help your loved one with Activities of Daily Living. They can manage your loved one’s medications so there is control over what they are taking, why and when. They can arrange to have changes made in the home to reduce the likelihood of accidents. They can accompany your loved one to doctor appointments to ensure that the doctor gets a clear understanding of any issues and keep the family well informed. They can also discuss the medications your loved one takes to ensure they are both necessary and without negative interactions.
A Geriatric Care Manager can give you and your family peace of mind this holiday season.