Friday, January 16, 2015

Re-Evaluating Senior Care & Planning for the New Year

Many people use the New Year as a time to make changes and start fresh. It is a time of reflection and re-evaluation. This can also apply to caring for your senior. As you organize other parts of your life, take some time to review the care your senior is receiving and determine if it is still adequately meeting their needs. If you just saw them for the holidays, consider how things have changed over the past year and what areas you may have noticed them struggling in.

Check in on things such as:

  • Health – have any new conditions developed or have others gotten worse or improved?
  • Mobility – are they still able to maneuver as well as before? Are they steady on their feet or having trouble getting up and down? Maybe their fine motor skills have decreased due to arthritis or they are recovering from surgery or injury.
  • Memory – are they becoming more forgetful or disoriented? Do they remember to take their medications as prescribed? Can they still follow directions, complete tasks, and get to and fro with little struggle?

These are all areas to pay attention to that can impact their independence and safety. Living alone can pose a risk if they are prone to falling, do not remember to take their medications, tend to wander, or have health concerns that need regular monitoring.

If you do notice these things, it may be time to consider in-home care services, or to adjust the amount of care that they are already receiving. An in-home care provider can help with basic tasks of daily living such as light cleaning and meal preparation, medication reminders, assistance with shopping and traveling, and provide daily companionship. They make it possible for your senior to maintain their independence as much as possible while receiving the support they need for higher quality of life and safety and better health.

The New Year can also be a great time to review finances and legal documents to ensure everything is in order. It is better to have these things worked out before your loved one’s health or memory declines and they are unable to effectively communicate their wishes. Make sure that their finances are still being used most effectively, their medical wishes are documented, and the proper insurance is in place to help cover expenses.

Start the year off on the right foot by ensuring that your aging parent is well cared for and all of their needs are being met. It is encouraged to review their care periodically and reassess their needs, but the New Year can be a good time to get the process started. If you do find that they need additional support or care, consider in-home care or assisted living placement through Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville.

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