Choosing the right senior living arrangement for a parent that can no longer live independently can be a daunting proposition for anyone. This stress is compounded when the parent lives some distance away. With the upcoming holiday season approaching, this is prime time for visits with family. When paying a visit to your loved ones, there are a few things to look for to ensure their well-being and that their needs are being met.
Start By Checking Out Their Appearance
One of the first things to assess when seeing a loved one is their appearance. Have they gone through a drastic change in weight since you’ve seen them last? Do they appear healthy and vital? If they have suffered a big difference in their looks, it may be time to schedule an appointment with their doctor, preferably before leaving, so you can accompany them and approach the doctor with any concerns.
While checking out their appearance, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for any cuts, scrapes, or bruises. If there is evidence of a recent injury, this could indicate changes in vision or mobility challenges. Either way, this is something that should be brought to the attention of a healthcare provider.
Simple Conversations Can Reveal A Lot of Information
Long talks and conversations with your parents can help shine a light on what happens when you’re not around. Are they able to follow a conversation? Do they sound easily confused by everyday items like opening a medication bottle? What about other loved ones? Are they able to recall the names of close family members? How these questions are answered may be cause for concern.
Is The Home a Safe Place?
The state of the house can provide some clues to their day-to-day living conditions. If the house is messy and cluttered, those conditions can be dangerous in a few profound ways. But, it may also indicate that they are having difficulty getting around or have experienced a recent change in energy level.
Many places have resources available to assist older people with essential housekeeping duties, so ask around for possible solutions. If it appears they can no longer live safely in their home, it may be time to look into assisted living.
Seeing piles of unopened mail lying around should be looked into to determine the cause. This may mean that the prescription for their reading glasses is outdated and they are having difficulty reading the print. If this is the case, a trip to the eye doctor for an updated eye exam and a new pair of glasses could give them a whole new lease on life. But, if memory care issues are to blame, it may be time for assistance with bill paying and correspondence.
The Refrigerator Can Hold Many Clues
The circumstances regarding the refrigerator can also illuminate some possible issues in the home. Is the fridge stocked with fresh, edible food? Or, do the contents consist of spoiled vegetables and expired dairy products? If your parents are struggling with preparing meals, having a delivery service deliver fresh meals every week or so might be worth looking into. These balanced meals could be microwaveable and ready in seconds.
How About Taking a Drive?
If your parents are still driving a car, how are their driving skills? Have they been using the car recently? It’s a good idea to look over the car and check it out for any significant dents or scrapes. Have they received any recent traffic tickets or been in an accident? These issues may indicate it’s time to start making other arrangements for transportation.
Do They Still Enjoy the Things They Used to Enjoy?
Social interaction among peers is a longing that we never outgrow and for seniors, this engagement provides crucial health benefits. Have you noticed a reduction in the social activities of your loved one? Staying mentally involved with a group of individuals has been linked with fewer instances of depression and a longer life span. Losing interest in friendships and activities may indicate symptoms of depression.
There are many advantages to keeping seniors in their homes for as long as possible. As we age, the value of familiarity cannot be overstated. Looking into having a family member or a home health aide check in on a senior parent may allow them to remain in their home for many years to come.
Orchard Park at Victory Lakes provides assisted living and memory care to the League City, Texas area. Contact 281-369-4404 for a tour of our beautiful community.