Caring for aging adults over the holidays
The holiday season is one of the busiest at Milestones Area Agency on Aging. And it all begins when people get together for holiday visits.
Typically, a person hasn’t seen their aging friend or relative in months and notice that they may need assistance to safely live in their home. There are many things to consider. Calling a local area agency on aging is a good first step in getting information and establishing a connection to resources and services in the community.
Here are just a few things to look for and discuss with the person you care about:
• Does an elder require help with chores or housekeeping, bathing, dressing, shopping and meal preparation, managing money, transportation or medications?
• Are they isolated? How often do they socialize with others?
• If living with another, are they dependent on that person for care? Is that person an appropriate caregiver? Does the caregiver understand the health conditions that the elder has?
• Are there warning signs of abuse or neglect? Self-neglect indicators might be confusion, depression, no longer able to handle tasks of daily living, under nourished, under/over medicated or dehydrated. Neglect or abuse by others may include: the presence of a “new best friend”; recent changes in banking or spending patterns; fear and unexplained bruises.
Creating some private time with the elder is beneficial to discuss future planning as they may not be aware of a gradual decline and may be reluctant or unable to plan for needed care. Support and guidance from family members or friends can help prevent serious accidents and future health complications. Noticing and correcting problems can help keep seniors safely in their homes. Allow time for them to express anxieties and needs. You can decide together on long term plans and who can help.
Call Milestones Area Agency on Aging at 1-855-410-6222 for information and assistance.