Checking in on aging parents over the holidays

Sandwich Generation: Checking in on aging parents over the holidays

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The holidays are a great time to subtly check in on how things are going in the home for an aging parent or friend.

You can use the tips below to check out how things are going without making it obvious, which can possibly make your aging parent or friend get defensive.

When you are done you can start to plan for a conversation about possible changes that need to be made.

1. House
a. Begin observing as you walk in from the outside. Are the walks shoveled? Is the mailbox overflowing?
b. Is the home dirtier than normal?
c. Is there a lot of clutter around, such as unopened mail or dirty dishes?
d. Are household items such as sinks, toilets, lights and furnace operating properly?
e. How is their food situation? Is there enough food in the refrigerator and is the food expired or moldy?

2. Health and Safety
a. How does their overall appearance look? Weight loss, frail or more weak than normal?
b. Memory loss or confusion?
c. Are there new behaviors such as repeating stories?
d. Signs of bruises or scratches?
e. Can they safely move around the home without tripping over items?
f. How are they driving? The same or do you feel it is not safe for them to drive? Are there dents on the car?
g. Do they have enough medication on hand and do they take their medication when they are supposed to? Are there any new medications that you have not seen before?
h. Is their medication stored properly and organized? Are any of them expired?

3. Social Life
a. Do they seem down or depressed?
b. How often do they get out and do activities like they used to or do they still do those activities anymore?
c. Do they still stay in contact with friends, family and the community?
d. Do they prefer to stay home and not want to leave the house?

Darci Buttke, Senior LinkAge Line Care transitions coordinator, stopped by KARE 11 at 11 to talk about all of this.


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