Holiday visits are an ideal time to gauge your elderly loved one’s physical and mental capacity, as well as their environment. In this article by the Huffington Post, we learn what to look for.
Elder care is a growing issue in society. Caregiving at a distance can be difficult, stressful and time-consuming. And often the only time caregivers see the loved one is on a family visit, more than not tied around a holiday. It is very noticeable when something is awry when visits are infrequent. This holiday season be aware of your older loved one’s physical and mental capacity and take notice of their environment. Whether visiting someone in senior care centers or at home, here are some tips to help.
Where do you start?
First use your senses. Observe with your eyes, ears, and with your senses of taste, touch and smell. Look at the house/apartment. Is it being kept up? Is the environment unsafe, unsanitary? Track the chores you do while there as they could point to services your loved one needs after you leave. Is there any thing obviously missing or large-scale new purchases? This could indicate some type of exploitation/abuse by others.
How can you tell if a loved one has been abused?
As a healthcare conference speaker, I often need to remind my audience members of their responsibility in the community. And watching out for abuse of elders is one such responsibility.
There are different types of abuse, some initiated by others and those of self-neglect. Again use your senses. Observe physical or sexual abuse — bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks.
Is there a new best friend around? Does a home care worker refuse to allow you to see your loved one alone?
Emotional abuse — is a loved one being emotionally upset or agitated; being extremely withdrawn and non communicative or self report being verbally or emotionally mistreated? These are signs that something is up.