During this busy holiday season, many family members get together for the first time in months. This might be a good time for family members to open the topic and express concern about their parents’ long-term well-being and safety. It is not an easy conversation to have.
Our friends at HomeWatch Caregivers provided us with some indicators that an elder might be in need of home care support and/or technology to maintain their quality of life.
• The condition of the interior and exterior dwelling and landscape show signs of deterioration and neglect
• Newspapers and mail are accumulating and still in the mailbox
• The person’s vehicle looks like it hasn’t been driven in a while and/or there are new scrapes and dents on the body of the vehicle
• The person has trouble ambulating, standing up or sitting down
• The person takes a long time to answer the door
• The demeanor of the person has changed and they seem confused, worried, and/or anxious. They may be forgetful and repeat stories often
• The person’s clothing and general appearance is unkempt. There may be signs of bruises that indicate a recent fall
• The person does not have a local support system
• There are odors of garbage or food. The refrigerator may contain out of date or old food
• It appears that the person is not eating regularly. There are not adequate healthy food choices
• There are possible fall hazards such as blocked or narrow passageways, loose throw rugs, debris on the floors and things stored on the stairwars or electrical cords crossing walkways
• Medications appear to be disorganized, may be out of date, and the person may be confused about what/whan/why the medication is indicated.
• The bathroom may need grab bars, a toilet seat riser, a shower chair and a hand held shower head. Is their evidence that a shower has been taken in the last few days?
• The person’s sleep patterns appear to be disrupted
Granted, not all of these issues indicate that individuals need to move to assisted living With the combination of home care and technology, an individual can independent and in their own home for much longer. Some technology solutions available include:
- Medication dispensers can remind individuals when it is time to take medication as well as be linked to a care center that can notify family, if needed
- Wellness monitoring tools such as blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters collect health data in confidential online health files and send notifications should an individual’s status exceed the predetermined thresholds
- Wireless sensor systems utilize door/window contacts, bed pressure pads, and even stove sensors to promote independence with activities of daily living
While conversations around these concerns can be difficult, we often encourage families to have them sooner rather than later. Being proactive offers individuals the opportunity to have a plan in place without having to make impulsive decisions if a crisis occurs.
SimplyHome has been fortunate enough to be able to give back this year. On behalf of our customers and partners we have made a generous donation to the No Place Like Home Program. Thank you for all of your support! If you would like to learn more or make a donation yourself, click here.
No Place Like Home
A Program of Eblen Charities in Partnership with SimplyHome
Volunteered for a week and changed for a lifetime–that was our experience with Extreme makeover Home edition, and when we returned to Asheville, we wanted to make the same difference in our own community.
As a result, SimplyHome has partnered with Eblen Charities to create No Place Like Home, a program offering individuals access to the assistive technology they need to live independently at home.