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Are you a caregiver of an aging loved one who doesn’t live near your loved one? While some caregivers live with their aging loved ones, others help their loved ones through their senior years from a distance. They make lots of phone calls, reach out to locals for help, and perhaps manage things like their doctor visits or financial investments. 

If you are a caregiver who lives a bit of distance from your loved one but will be visiting this season, you should consider spending a bit of that time sleuthing around the home to see how your loved one is managing on his own. Many elderly people will hide their struggles from loved ones out of fear that if their loved ones know they’re not managing certain areas of their lives well, they’ll be placed in an assisted living facility and they’re not ready for that. The good news for your loved one and you is that if he does need help in some areas, it can be as simple as hiring a home care professional to provide regular visits and help him with those responsibilities so that he can still age in place in the home he loves. 

But, let’s get back to sleuthing. What red flags should you look for when visiting your loved one’s home over the holidays?

  1. Observe the general update of the home. If you notice that some areas are not as clean as they should be and seem to be neglected, you might consider having a home care provider come to the home to help keep the place clean and welcoming. It could be that your loved one needs help carrying the trash out each week or bringing the folded towels upstairs. If he has a yard, he might need help in the yard with gardening or raking. 
  2. Check the fridge. Is your loved one eating well? What do you see in his fridge? If you see a bunch of spoiled food or a lack of fresh food to prepare, he might need help with shopping and preparing healthy meals. A home care provider could assist in both the grocery shopping and the prep and serving of his meals. They can also help with cleanup. 
  3. Look at your loved one. Of course, you’ll look at your loved one, but really take a moment to see how he looks. You want to make sure your loved one is still able to take care of his personal hygiene and health needs. If your always clean-shaven father now has an unkempt beard, it might be because he cannot manage the shaver anymore. A home care provider can help him with his personal care needs so that he can look his best whenever he goes out. 
  4. Ask and observe how he’s feeling. Depression and anxiety can steal your loved one’s joy so if he’s struggling mentally, talk about how you can help him take positive actions to better mental health. 

Enjoy celebrating with your loved one this holiday season but if you notice something amiss, don’t neglect the chance to help him find solutions so that he can continue into the new year with more tools for success.  

If you or someone you know needs home care in Mankato, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.