Are you visiting older family or friends this Christmas? For many, Christmas is a happy time with family gatherings, delicious food, and lots of fun. However, the elderly community may not have the same experience. The loss of a loved one, decreased mobility, isolation or health issues can make the festive season a difficult time.
As we know, older people may be reluctant to ask for help, especially during the holidays when they feel people want to be jolly and relax. If you are visiting with your grandparents, parents, neighbours, or other older loved ones this Christmas, it’s important to check in and ask how they are doing mentally and physically.
There are a few easy things you can look out for to gauge your loved one’s health.
– Check the refrigerator – Look for expired food, lack of fresh vegetables or even things that don’t belong there (such as a book or tv remote).
– Check the mail – Are bills piling up or going unpaid? Is mail being collected from the mailbox?
– Inspect the car – If they are still driving, check the car for new dents or damage that indicate they maybe shouldn’t be driving alone.
– Hug your loved one – Clothes can hide a lot, including weight loss from poor nutrition or medical problems. You may notice prominent bones or an increasingly frail frame.
– Are they taking their medication? – Look for signs of expired medication or pills placed around in a disorderly manner indicating they are not part of a daily routine.
– Personal hygiene – Are they maintaining good personal hygiene? If not, they may be finding it difficult to bathe themselves or do the laundry.
– Disorderly home – If they usually keep a tidy home, but it’s in a general state of disarray, they may not be able to manage household chores.
– Are they happy? – If they don’t seem to leave the house or have contact with friends, they may be experiencing isolation or depression.
If you are noticing some, or any, of these signs it may be time to consider if they require additional support to continue living independently. Recognising these signs and planning ways to mitigate them can help relieve loneliness, stress, financial burden or even avoid hazards in the home. Your loved one’s may not require full-time care but could feel a sense of relief receiving assistance in a couple of key areas.
At Home Nursing Group we can provide the in-home care they need such as help with shopping, taking medication, housework, gardening, nutritional advice, and personal care. We believe in treating people with the respect and dignity they deserve, while listening to their needs and delivering high-quality care.
Considering the needs of your loved one ahead of time can help you make informed decisions when the need arises. Call us today to discuss your options and start planning.
We are based in Armidale, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, and Taree.
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