The holidays are now upon us, and this may be one of the few times a year for out-of-town family to spend extended time with an older parent or relative. This is a great opportunity to take a look at your older loved ones and their surroundings.
What to look out for this holiday season:
- Ask your loved one what they might need help with around the house. Are they having a hard time shoveling snow or mowing their lawn?
- Check for loose rugs, extension cords, or cluttered furniture that can lead to tripping or falling. Make sure there’s adequate lighting, particularly around stairs.
- Check the refrigerator for old or expired food.
- The bathroom can be a dangerous place, especially for falls. Check if your loved one is fully mobile, and ask whether they would benefit from grab bars or a shower chair.
- One of the benefits included in PACE are the in-home assessments each participant receives. InnovAge experts visit the home to make sure it’s safe and accessible, and each participant and their caregiver receive safety education.
- Medication management is important with older adults. When you’re visiting for the holidays, make sure that they’re taking medications as directed.
- Have they had flu and pneumonia shots? Older adults are particularly vulnerable to these viruses. Immunization is a quick and easy way to prevent them.
- If your loved one is still driving, make sure they are still safe on the road. Be concerned if they have trouble judging distance, drive too fast, or too slow. If you notice driving issues, it may be time for the car to go in for “extended repairs” while you create a long-term plan.
Taking time to check on your loved one over the holidays is an important way to make sure they are safe and well-cared for, even when you’re not in town to help.