This is the time of year when parents load up their kids with the supplies they need to be successful in school. I may mean multiple trips to several stores. If you are a parent, you probably know what I mean! Classes, projects, after-school activities…binders, pens, paper, tablets, instruments, sports gear. The list goes on and on. But you make a list and check it off as you get your kids set for the year.
But what about your senior loved one? Even though they are not in school, you should take this time to make a list and be sure their needs are being met as well.
Here are 5 areas to check:
- Food. It may be time to think about preparing some casseroles and soup that can be frozen for your loved one and ready for them when the weather turns colder. Even on a warm day a nice bowl of soup may be soothing. It is also time to go through the pantry and refrigerator/freezer to see what foods are old and/or expired. You don’t want your loved one to eat something that will make them sick.
- Weight Loss or Gain. Has your loved one gained or lost weight recently? We think of weight loss as a good thing, but for an older adult sudden weight loss could point to other issues such as muscle loss, depression, medication side effects, medical conditions (like cancer or thyroid disorder), Alzheimer’s disease or even a dental problem. Some of these conditions could lead to a fall, and then there are a host of other issues to deal with! If their clothes are suddenly too tight or falling off, it may be time to schedule a doctor’s appointment to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. A little preventive care can go a long way. By the way, if they have lost or gained weight, make sure they have clothes that fit them properly. They may not ask about getting new clothes, but it is little things like that go a long way to keeping their dignity.
- Safety. When was the last time you changed the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Why not take the time to switch them now. If the detector starts to ‘chirp’ in the middle of the night, you do not want your loved one on a step stool trying to remove a battery.
- Rugs. Have you checked the kitchen, bathrooms or hallways lately? Remove any throw rugs as they can be trip/fall hazards. Instead, make sure your loved one has house shoes with traction on the soles to keep from slipping but will still keep their feet warm.
- Bath. Make sure the non-slip surface on the shower or tub has not worn off. Also check to see if the shower or tub is clean. A dirty base can become slippery and again create a slip/fall hazard. Determine if it is time to add a grab bar to the shower for added safety.
At Assisting Hands® Home Care, our skilled caregivers will make sure the seniors in our care are eating and exercising appropriately. Whether you need someone to be with your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, our at-home care can accommodate your needs. You will have peace of mind knowing that they aren’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.