The 2021 holidays will, thankfully, look very different from 2020 for many families. Instead of dinner over Zoom, families are making plans to gather, many for the first time in over a year.
While you are making travel plans, include a plan to assess your elder’s physical, mental and emotional health during the visit. Don’t be surprised if you clearly see changes and some of those changes are more dramatic than expected. If you do see changes, Springpoint at Home’s Aging Life Care Advisor™/ Care Manager team can help.
Phone calls, Facetime and Zoom cannot replace in-person evaluation. Here are some key things to look for that can be a red flag.
- Behavior that is not normal
- If your loved one seems agitated and overwhelmed or is sleeping more or less than normal or than usual.
- They do not want to take part in traditional family activities they used to love.
- Health has deteriorated
- When was the last time they went to the doctor? Telehealth is a great alternative but does not replace hands and eyes on the patient.
- Are they taking their medication? Are they taking it in the right dosage and at the correct time of day?
- Physical appearance
- Do you notice body odor or clothes that are soiled or ill fitting?
- Are they having a harder time hearing or seeing?
- Safety hazards
- Is their gate steady when they walk?
- Do they struggle to stand up?
- Are they having difficulty using stairs?
- Appearance of the home
- Is the house clean and the outside maintained?
- Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator or expired canned goods?
- Are unpaid bills lying around or notices of unpaid bills?
Trying to implement changes during the holidays will be difficult, especially if you are not sure how to address the problems or find resources. Don’t let feeling overwhelmed stop you from seeking help. Springpoint at Home’s Aging Life Care Advisors™/ Care Managers are trained to help parents and children navigate what can be tricky discussions, even when siblings can’t agree on the best path forward.
Working with a Springpoint at Home Aging Life Care Advisor™/ Care Manager ensures a well-researched solution based on observation, both yours and theirs. A care plan that is unique to your loved one’s needs is created. It includes a comprehensive assessment of care needs and home safety. In addition, they can manage access to services and medical benefits, coordinate placement and safe hospital discharge, serve as liaison for distant family members and offer many other services. As your loved one’s needs change, our eyes-on approach results in an evolving care plan that ensures their health and safety.