The holiday season is typically a time of joy and celebration. but there are certainly situations where the holiday season can bring some darker times to some families.
A recent post to online blog New Old Age
details how the writer spoke to several experienced geriatric care managers from the Boston area . . . and what was found may shock you. A Frantic Call for Help
The care managers revealed that during the holiday season they receive dozens upon dozens of calls from frantic family members who discover their older relatives to be in bad shape. This occurs most commonly when adult children visit their parents for Thanksgiving or Christmas for the first time all year; either because they live far from their parents or because they simply were not able to meet.
While they may keep in touch with their parents, the parents might be telling their children that they are “fine.” Yet when the children visit, they may be surprised to find rotting food, unpaid bills, unwashed clothes and deteriorating health. It is this sudden shock of finding their loved ones in such bad shape that causes emergency calls to medical care centers to skyrocket. Signs and Symptoms
So aside from the obvious signs mentioned above, how can you tell if your loved one needs specialized care . . . or at the very least a frequent closer look? Apart from the symptoms of scary driving behaviors, forgetfulness
, or an overall slower “pace of life,” there can be some more subtle signs of senility. If you notice that they must take an excessive amount of pills and medications each day, it could mean that they are sadly more fragile than they seem. Depression
could be present but carefully covered up; so pay close attention to your loved one's mood, as well as how their enthusiasm levels seem. The Best Way to Help
If you notice any of these symptoms, do not panic and immediately call a care home. Instead, find a pleasant way to bring up the topic in a normal conversation and gauge the reaction of your loved one. If you are met with resistance, perhaps try to find some way to compromise so that you are both happy, and they are safe. Help them set up online billing or auto-pay features so that their bills stay current. And if they have to get on the road a lot, enroll them in a transportation program so that they may safely travel. If these ideas seem welcomed, try to introduce a personal home helper that could ease the burden of laundry, shopping and bathing, as well as providing a more consistent interaction with other people.
With our ever increasing life spans, it can be so easy to forget that we still become frail as we get older. Even though your loved ones may have seemed healthy when you last saw them last year, or even a few short months ago, a lot could have changed in that time period.