It’s been quite some time since you’ve had the opportunity for a nice, long visit with Mom. Now that the holiday season is here, you will have some uninterrupted time to catch up. Of course, you’ll want to make the most of this time together, but it’s also the best time to evaluate how she is really doing, and if you can detect any changes in her health that perhaps have gone undiscovered through phone calls and FaceTime.
To help you think through areas of potential concern to evaluate, we’ve provided a list of questions to answer. Some of these questions you may wish to ask the senior directly, while others may be answered by observing the home environment and the senior herself.
- Is she eating more or less than usual?
- Has she gained or lost weight?
- Is she having trouble falling or staying asleep?
- Does she seem short of breath?
- Do you notice any bruises or other injuries that could indicate a fall?
- Does she seem happy and content?
- Is she stumbling or holding onto furniture or the wall to get around?
- Does the senior seem to be moving more slowly and cautiously?
- Is she spending time with friends?
- Is she actively engaged in enjoyable activities?
- Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?
- Is she misplacing items, only to find them in unexpected places, such as the car keys in the refrigerator?
- Is she struggling to remember the names of familiar people or objects?
- Is she repeating questions or statements in conversations?
- Are there pieces of mail and bills that have not been opened?
- Does the senior seem more forgetful or confused than usual?
- Does the senior seem more timid or anxious than usual?
- Does she suddenly have a new “friendship” with someone whose motives may be questionable?
- Is she communicating with strangers online?
- Has she cosigned for a loan for anyone?
- Are there any changes in her banking activity?
- Has she provided anyone with personal information over the phone or internet?
- Is the yard maintained?
- Is there clutter in the home that could pose a fall risk?
- Are there any hazards you’re noticing, such as scorch marks on pans or the countertop that could indicate inattention to cooking?
- Is the home cleaned to the senior’s typical standards?
- Is the laundry clean and put away?
- Are the bed linens being changed regularly?
If you are in any way concerned about a senior’s safety or wellbeing, regardless of how small, home care can help. Reach out to Generations at Home for more information.