Having an elderly family member on her own in one location when you’re in another that’s far away is not always ideal. When her health starts to change, so too do her needs.
Figure out How Your Aging Adult Is Eating
How and when your aging family member is eating can tell you a lot about how well she’s able to care for herself. If there’s a way to determine whether your aging family member has a well-stocked fridge and pantry, that’s useful information. Remember that spoiled food can be a sign that your elderly family member isn’t paying much attention to what she’s eating.
Home Safety Is Important
Depending on how long it’s been since you last visited your aging family member, her home could now be unsafe for her. There may be tripping hazards that weren’t an issue before or her home may have fallen into disrepair. It’s important to get an updated version of your elderly family member’s home safety.
Daily Household Management Can Be a Clue
If your elderly family member is needing more assistance with paying her bills or managing other aspects of daily household management, such as cleaning, then it might be a good idea to reassess her living situation. Other family members who live closer might be able to offer hands-on help, or you might be able to manage bills electronically and arrange for cleaning help from where you are.
Personal Hygiene Is Another Indicator
Taking care of her own personal hygiene can become too difficult for your aging adult, too. If she’s not able to keep up on her own, having someone on hand who can help is essential. Home care providers or other family members might be the right answer if you can’t be there yourself.
Inability to Drive Doesn’t Mean She Can’t Live Alone
Your elderly family member might not want to let you know that she’s having trouble driving for fear that she’ll need to move or otherwise change her living situation. But that doesn’t have to be the case. If she’s able to manage on her own in other ways, having transportation help may be all that’s required.
Remember to approach your fact-finding mission with compassion and respect. You’re not trying to change your aging family member’s life. The goal is to make sure she’s got what she needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering homecare in West Hempstead, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions.
Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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