The holidays are a time when families gather. At Asbury Methodist Village, our Health Services associates have had many conversations with family members concerned about Mom or Dad. Often those concerns are raised after they return home for just such a holiday visit. Helping someone see and accept that they are facing challenges is a difficult task that was thoroughly explained in the Asbury Perspective blog entry “Difficult Conversations.”
If the person has been diagnosed with dementia, the answer is clear: seek assistance now. But if the path isn't so clear, how do you know when your concerns are justified? Don’t dismiss those gut feelings is advice we share. Hunches don’t often come from nowhere. Take a look at the following checklist. If you are routinely noticing several of these issues, it may be time to discuss scheduling a doctor’s visit. Tell the physician you would like an assessment for age-related safety issues.
Gather current records of your parents’ health insurance, medical history, physicians and contact numbers and medications. Update them every six months.
Make a list of important documents and information such as a will and living wills, bank, investment and credit card accounts, social security number and insurance policies.
Get a basic outline of your parents’ monthly expenses and income.
Suggest creating power of attorney and advance directive documents.
Conduct a home safety assessment for hazards. Click here for a detailed Home Safety Assessment checklist.
When hiring caregivers, interview the company and the caregiver that would be assigned. Make sure the agency conducts thorough background checks.
Research what aging services – including transportation – are available in your hometown so you are prepared if an emergency arises. Contact your local Office on Aging for information.