Evaluating your loved ones’ well being during Holiday visits. Coming home to find loved ones in an emergent situation makes the holidays a stressful time for many families. Here's what you need to know from John McKinnon, ED at Brookdale Colorado Springs.
There is no place like home for the holidays. It’s a familiar refrain that echoes the sentiments of many during the holiday season. Nothing is better than visiting loved ones, reminiscing about holidays past, and creating new memories together.
Sometimes, though, coming home to aging loved ones feels more like a nightmare than a Hallmark card. In the senior care industry, it is not uncommon for holidays to be one of the busier times of the year. Coming home to find loved ones in an emergent situation makes the holidays a stressful time for many families. There are often signs that a person has had a decline, but these signs may go unnoticed over time and from a distance. They may be brushed off as merely coincidental occurrences when they are actually clues that should alert family members to investigate further.
Understanding specific indicators can help prevent panic and urgency during the holiday season. Falls are the most common concern related to age and decline, especially during the winter, but there are many other factors that can indicate a change to their safety. Things such as confusion related to time, day, or place while on the phone with you; mismanagement of medication while checking in on them; even calls from concerned neighbors and friends, point to an underlying decline in an aging family member. Deterioration in personal hygiene, a tendency toward dehydration, and the inability to prepare nutritious meals can also indicate the need for some additional support or services.
The best first approach to addressing these issues is to go with your loved one to their primary care provider. Often seniors will not let their issues be known or think they do not have an issue. If you go to these appointments, you are able to advocate and explain your safety concerns. At that point, the primary care provider can talk to you about options ranging from therapy services to 24-hour care. Take time to explore therapy/ home health, home care, retirement living options, and even hospice services. All of these options offer specific pros and cons, and depending on what is making it unsafe for your loved one at home, each may offer a solution. Remember that these services can be done in conjunction with one another and help promote overall health and wellness. Educate yourself and come up with a plan before these issues turn into emergencies.
Brookdale has multiple properties and professionals to help guide families through these sometimes difficult decisions. For more information on how we can help please visit www.Brookdale.com