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Aging in Place Observations

Posted On 12/19/2011
Q:

Coming home to this holiday can lead to a gained insight on how well parents/loved ones are doing.

A:

When families live far away from one another it is hard to assess how aging parents /loved ones are managing on their own. You rely on phone conversations or the observations of friends or other relatives to gain insight into how well your parents/loved ones are doing. The holidays often bring families the opportunity to observe in person a decline or change that has taken place since your last visit. Below are a few signs to look for that may indicate the need to hire some personal assistance with the ultimate goal to be for your parents/loved ones to remain safe, healthy and happy while aging in place in their home.

  • Weight loss - can be an obvious sign of ill health. Some causes could be medication, onset of dementia, and depression, lack of energy to prepare food, or inability to be able to read and process directions.
  • Emotional well-being – disheveled appearance, lack of interest in basic everyday routine/hobbies, poor personal hygiene, dehydration, sudden change in mental status. Some causes could be depression, dementia, urinary tract infection, lack of energy to complete tasks
  • A home that was once well kept now in disarray – look for clutter or mail that has piled up, excessive laundry, which could indicate lack of energy to maintain common household chores scorched pans, outdated food in refrigerator and cabinets, which could indicate forgetfulness related to turning off appliances and throwing away spoiled food.
  • Balance/unexplained bruising/pain – watch how they walk and turn, do they wince or flinch in pain, do you notice a lot of bruising. Do they lose their balance easily, stumble when taking steps. These signs can indicate episodes of falling, possible medication imbalance.

There may be other signs of change in your loved one. Please research your area resources for Senior Care and stay involved , know their medication schedule as well as staying informed regarding doctor appointments and overall health of your parent/loved one to ensure they continue to thrive and safely age in place in their homes.

 
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