Detective Caregiver to assess if your loved one needs caregiver help.
Now that a summer is upon us where we feel at ease about traveling once again (except, of course, when standing at the gas pump), it is time to put on our deerstalker hat and reflectively puff on an empty Calabash pipe ala Sherlock Holmes and in his shadow become a loving (but slightly nosey) caregiver detective. If you are traveling to visit your loved ones who may be in need of care, your trip affords an ideal time to assess any changes in their health and well-being.
As any good detective knows, the first step is to follow the clues.
Clue One – Your loved one’s home:
- What condition is it in? Is it a clean, clutter free and safe environment?
- The kitchen is where you can find a lot of telling clues. Look for signs of spoiled food, or an excess of junk/convenience foods compared to the last visit. This may be a sign they have stopped cooking.
- Is the bathroom safe, with grab bars (if necessary) and slip proof mats? Are cords dangling dangerously near running water?
Clue Two – Your loved one’s behavior:
- How do they handle their medication regimen? Are they using expired medications?
- Is your loved one acting withdrawn, or making excuses not to participate?
- Are there noticeable changes to hearing, sight or speech?
- What is their balance like? Are stairs becoming an issue?
- Observe memory capabilities. A good way to check this is to see if a loved one is remembering to pay bills, or keep appointments.
- What are your loved one’s grooming habits like?
Once your detecting is done and you have a clear picture of your loved one’s living situation, it is time to assess if you need to take further next steps in providing additional care for them.
- What services (appointments, shopping, banking, etc.) do they need access to on a regular basis?
- Is your loved one still able to drive? Don’t just take their word for it.
- What socialization opportunities exist in the community to help prevent isolation and depression?
- Is another family member or close friend living nearby and able to help?
- What local help is available?
Before making any big changes, it’s essential to talk (respectfully) with your loved one about what they see as their greatest needs. Discuss solutions, and then bring some options forward that may work for all involved.
While a well-deserved vacation hopefully includes some much need rest and relaxation, it’s also a great time for a long-distance caregiver to take the extra time to observe a loved one’s living situation and address any new needs.
As your fictional counterpart might exclaim “It’s elementary, my dear caregiver.”
Call Platinum Select Care 561.998.3211. We are here for you to help you.