Six Ways to Evaluate a Senior’s Safety During a Holiday Visit
Six Ways to Evaluate a Senior’s Safety During a Holiday Visit
November 21, 2016
by Lisa TreadwellIn many cases, the holidays are the first time that family members may notice older people beginning to slow down or show physical or mental deterioration. It may be slight and nothing significant to worry over, or the change may be drastic and smacking of immediate safety issues for the older adult.

In fact, senior retirement communities and assisted living facilities across Central Indiana (from Carmel to Broad Ripple to Washington Township) often notice an increase in inquiries from concerned family members both during and after the holidays.

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I’ve put together these thoughts on things to pay attention to if you believe that an older family member is facing safety issues while living independently.

 

6 Ways to Evaluate a Senior Citizen’s Safety During a Holiday Visit

Medication:

Are they taking their medication as prescribed? Is the pillbox organized and up-to-date? If not, visits from a home health provider may be useful.

Housekeeping:

Housework and general maintenance is often the first thing to be neglected when an elderly parent begins to suffer a decline in health or mobility. Again, a senior health service that provides basic housekeeping may be helpful.

Loss of Memory or Other Cognitive Function
As a family member, it’s up to you to consider how serious this issue is. Obviously, some loss of memory and brain function is to be expected, so don’t jump to conclusions just because Dad is forgetful. However, it’s a trend that bears monitoring and you should pay attention to see whether the loss is a serious safety issue or not.
Socialization

Do your loved ones have a strong support system like good neighbors and friends? If not, understand that seniors on the decline tend to isolate. Those with strong social networks are happier, healthier, and safer.

Safety Issues

Is your family member beginning to have trouble navigating their home? Are staircases, steps, and bathtubs posing a danger? What about throw rugs and strips that may be tripping dangers? Are there fire hazards in the kitchen?

Concerned family members can help alleviate some of these dangers, and a variety of age-in-place techniques (including either major or minor remodeling) can also serve to minimize threats in the household.

Nutrition

Is your loved one eating properly? Be sure and scan the refrigerator and pantries. Are they well-stocked? If not, your family member may be having difficulty getting out of their Indianapolis house and cruising down Meridian to make it to the grocery. Or, they may just flat out forget to. Home health providers may also be of assistance in this regard.

These are just a few of the points to consider if you worry that a loved one may be sacrificing safety in living independently.

As a Senior Real Estate Specialist and Certified Senior Housing Professional in Indianapolis, I’ll be happy to offer you advice, answer questions, and help you understand options if you need to consider moving a loved one from one home to another. Helping elderly parents move in Indianapolis is my specialty.


 

 

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