Thursday, November 21, 2013

Assessing Your Loved Ones Care Needs During the Holiday Season

Ah, the holidays! They can be idyllic or stressful and maybe a bit of both. And, getting together with family members makes Thanksgiving and Christmas the perfect time for a reality check. What’s really going on with Mom and Dad?

Subtle sleuthing can help you and your relatives determine the safety of your parent’s (or aunt’s, older sibling’s, grandparent’s) living arrangements and the state of their physical and mental health.

Look around. Take a drive with your loved one. Assess their skills. Is there food in the refrigerator, is the mail properly sorted (no piles of unpaid bills) and is their home safe? Do they have ample lighting and what about those steep steps? Should they install grab bars or reconfigure space? Are they in contact with friends or neighbors or do they seem isolated?

The real question is, are they in the right place and do they have everything they need to stay as independent as possible? If not, what’s the next step?

Maybe all they need is part-time or full-time help. (We’ve got that covered. CareLinx may be a great, cost- effective, and easy solution for you.)

Regardless of what you find, knowing about community resources is essential.  You may need them now or down the road. Check out this Department of Health and Human ServicesEldercare Locator guide  for adult children and their parents.  

Research heavily, but tread lightly. You have to be diplomatic and open to everyone’s ideas—your siblings and most importantly Mom’s and Dad’s if they are cognitively sharp. Listen to what they have to say—their perspective, wishes, and concerns.

Thanksgiving and Christmas provide a great opportunity for that family conversation so you really do have a happy holiday. And many more.

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