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How to care for your senior after the holidays are over
The pandemic limited our physical presence with family members to keep them safe, so as we went "Home for the Holidays" (for possibly the first gathering in almost two years), we were faced with changes or challenges going on with our loved ones. Think back to your family visits, remember if you saw any new changes in your older loved ones.
It’s never easy to make the decision that assisted care is necessary. The easiest identifiers are typically seen within our ADLs and IADLs. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are tasks we complete daily to take care of ourselves and our home. They require more complex planning and thinking. Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the basic self-care tasks like bathing, eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. They are a good measure of our physical abilities.
Both refer to key life tasks that need to be accomplished daily. They are a necessary part of everyday life and a way to measure how well we continue to thrive on your own. When we visited our loved ones over the holidays, we may have noticed that they are no longer able to take care of some of these needs. This may have been a new change or maybe this has progressed over the years.
Some indicators that you may have noticed:
- Mailing piled up, bills not being paid
- The refrigerator was not stocked, or food was rotten or expired
- Laundry piled up
- Bathrooms were not clean
- Most traveled pathways were not clear to avoid falls
Our loved one may be personally struggling with:
- Personal care needs – bathing, dressing, toileting
- Communication – were they able to articulate their needs and wants?
- Movement – were they able to move about freely and safely in the home?
- Time – repeated confusion on days, times, and dates
- Medications – piled up, expired, or not being taken properly
Some of these may not have been as apparent as others, here are a few ideas that can help you check in on your older loved ones if you have concerns:
- Give them a phone call
- Make sure they have perishable food
- Take them out on a COVID-friendly walk
- Ask them to recount a good story for you
- Play soft music that they love the next time you visit.
- Go through a photo album with them, ask about the people or the story of the photo to help remind them of times you shared.
Capital City Nurses and the Care Advantage family, hope that you had a wonderful Holiday season. We are happy to assist with any questions or support you or your loved ones may need.