When was the last time you had the chance for a good, long visit with Mom? Now that the holidays are here, you’ll have some uninterrupted time to catch up. Of course, you’ll want to make the most of this time with each other, but it is also the perfect time to evaluate how she is really doing, and if you’re picking up on any changes in her health that may have gone undetected through phone calls and FaceTime.
To bring your attention to potential areas of concern to be aware of, we’ve provided a list of questions to ask seniors you love or even yourself over the holiday season. You may wish to ask some of these questions to the senior outright, while others can be answered by noticing the home environment and the person herself.
- Is she repeating questions or statements in conversations?
- Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?
- Is she misplacing items, only to find them in unexpected places, such as the car keys in the refrigerator?
- Does the senior seem more forgetful or confused than usual?
- Are there pieces of mail and bills that have not been opened?
- Is she struggling to remember the names of familiar people or objects?
- Is she eating more or less than usual?
- Is she having trouble falling or staying asleep?
- Is she stumbling or holding onto furniture or the wall to get around?
- Does she seem short of breath?
- Has she gained or lost weight?
- Is she actively engaged in enjoyable activities?
- Do you notice any bruises or other injuries that could indicate a fall?
- Does she seem happy and content?
- Does the senior seem to be moving more slowly and cautiously?
- Is she spending time with friends?
- Is the home cleaned to the senior’s typical standards?
- Is there clutter in the home that could pose a fall risk?
- Is the yard maintained?
- Are the bed linens being changed regularly?
- Is the laundry clean and put away?
- Are there any hazards you’re noticing, such as scorch marks on pans or the countertop that could indicate inattention to cooking?
- Is she communicating with strangers online?
- Are there any changes in her banking activity?
- Has she provided anyone with personal information over the phone or internet?
- Has she cosigned for a loan for anyone?
- Does the senior seem more timid or anxious than usual?
- Does she suddenly have a new “friendship” with someone whose motives may be questionable?
After reviewing these questions to ask seniors, yourself, and their caregivers, you may even realize some new concerns before your visit even begins. If you have any concerns about a senior’s safety or wellbeing, regardless of how small, home care can help. Contact JFS Care online or at 213-383-2273 for more information about our Los Angeles, CA home care services and care throughout the nearby areas.