You live thousands of miles away from mom and dad…but you still worry about how well they are doing. You are not alone; did you know that more than 50 million family caregivers in this country provide some sort of care for an aging family member or friend? If you are visiting your parents over the holidays, now might be a good time to evaluate how well they really are doing. Red flags that might signal a need for help:
- Did you look in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry? Had food spoiled because Mom can’t get to the grocery store?
- Did you look over the grocery list? Has Dad’s declining health prompted him to purchase more convenience and junk foods, and neglect proper nutrition? Is he losing weight?
- Accumulated dust and dirt may be a sign that household cleaning is becoming too difficult for your parents. Do they have difficulty cleaning tight, cluttered places?
- Has the inability to lift their arms and climb step stools prevented your loved one from cleaning soot and grime from high places? Caution seniors not to climb.
- Did you talk to your parents’ neighbors and other close friends to find out about their daily routine? Are your seniors at home more, watching television and avoiding stimulating conversation and companionship?
If you noticed something out of the ordinary your goal should be to start a conversation with your parents and let them know about your concern. Around the Holidays might also be a really good time to reach out to siblings and discuss the approaching challenges. A good plan will help to make caring for your parents needs all that much easier.
If you have questions or you know someone who you think might need help you can call and talk to a Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Medical Social Worker:
Maria in Laconia at 603-524-8444
Liz in Wolfeboro at 603-569-2729