Holiday Checklist for Senior Safety

by Lois Etienne on December 21, 2010

in Holidays,Senior Health and Safety

Washington State SeniorsYou’ve just returned to your childhood home for the holidays, but things don’t look the same.  Are the conditions of aging jeopardizing your senior’s health and safety at home? Complete this checklist and if you see any of these situations, your senior may need extra help.

  • Look in the refrigerator, freezer and drawers. Spoiled food or a mostly empty refrigerator can mean that your parent can’t get to the grocery store. Your loved one’s declining health also may be prompting more convenience and junk foods, and a neglect of proper nutrition.
  • Look on top of furniture and countertops. Dust and dirt in high and low places may be signs that household tasks are becoming more difficult for your parents.
  • Look under beds and sofas. Old newspapers, books and magazines stowed there may show a decreased ability for your parent to organize things, thus creating a fire hazard.
  • Look through the mail. A parent’s dementia may cause him or her to forget to pay bills and answer correspondence.
  • Look at the carpeting and upholstered furniture for stains.  Food and drink spillage may be a sign of shakiness or balance issues.
  • Look in the medicine cabinet. Check the refill date against the number of pills in the bottle to help determine if your loved one is taking medication regularly. Or call the pharmacy.
  • Look at you senior’s appearance. Unkempt clothing may signal that your loved one is neglecting personal hygiene because of failing vision.
  • Look to your parents’ neighbors and other close friends to find out about their daily routine. If your seniors are at home more, watching television and avoiding stimulating conversation and companionship, it may be a sign they need help at home.

If you need help or have questions, contact Lois Etienne from Home Instead Senior Care – Spokane and Seattle – 800-4SENIORS (800-473-6476)

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