This holiday season UpliftedCare is encouraging a ‘holiday reality check’. As many of us return home for the holidays, it can be the perfect time to get a real picture of how your loved ones are doing. Sometimes the return home visit can lead to a shocking discovery: your parents are not faring as well as they led you to believe.
Often adult children return home to find their parents are not doing quite as well as they’ve been led to believe. They discover new or increased frailties, evidence of falls, less mobility, a general decline in well-being or a serious illness like COPD, heart disease, cancer or dementia that seems to be progressing.
They’ve been reassured for months that all is well by their parents who don’t want to burden them, or who may not want to confront their own diminishing health. They may not even be fully aware themselves that they’re declining and need extra support. The ‘reality jolt’ is more likely to hit adult children who live far enough away that they can’t regularly visit aging family members. They’ve been reassured that all is fine, but find out differently when they do visit.
For those returning home for the holidays it’s the perfect time to do a reality check on how your loved ones are really doing. Here’s some telltale warning signs to look for:
- Are there signs of cognitive impairment? Forgetfulness and confusion are definite red flags that should never be overlooked.
- Take a look around the home and assess its general appearance. Are there signs of damage or neglect? If their home is not as organized or as clean as they once kept it, it could mean they are no longer capable of general household tasks.
- Is there outdated or spoiled food in the refrigerator?
- Are you noticing a marked weakness, loss of stamina or strength?
- Are there noticeable bruises? This could be a sign your loved one is having mobility or balance issues.
- Do they seem more stressed or agitated than you remember?
- Are they spending more time in their favorite chair and seem less active?
- Has their appetite decreased?
- Do they seem more confused at night?
- Are they not understanding or taking their medications properly?
Determining if help is needed then understanding what local services are available is a first step. Many don’t realize that there is help available. It could be a small change like engaging a home helper to handle laundry and shopping or a chore service to help with home repairs and home safety. If their decline is related to a serious illness, then UpliftedCare may be an option.
At UpliftedCare, we often talk about our services being an “extra layer of support“ for family caregivers. Caring for a loved one with a serious illness can feel overwhelming. Especially from a distance. And today, perhaps more than ever, it’s comforting to know that mom or dad can get the care they need safely at home.
If you notice that your loved one seems to be struggling more with decline or illness, UpliftedCare can help determine what services may be appropriate.
Remember, there is support available. Our support includes nurses who visit mom or dad in the comfort of their home to provide expert care and make arrangements for medications and medical equipment. Nurses’ aides help your loved one with bathing, personal care, light meals, grooming and comfort. Our team works together with their doctors to provide the extra care and support that can manage symptoms, ensure their safety and improve their quality of life. Through daily check in calls, we can keep a close watch on any issues that might occur between our visits in their home.
Our care is about sustaining and maintaining your loved one’s quality of life in their home – keeping them safe and comfortable.
No matter what you determine is the best fit for your aging parent, the holiday reality check can lead to some pragmatic steps that can help them maintain their independence, and your peace of mind.