Since moving away, you’ve made it a point to phone Mom every Saturday, no exceptions. After catching up on the week’s news, she always reassures you that yes, she’s eating well, taking her meds, getting plenty of rest, and doing perfectly fine.
However, visiting her in person for a few weeks over vacation paints a different picture. Her once immaculate kitchen is cluttered with junk mail and newspapers, with a sink full of food-encrusted dishes. The refrigerator contains spoiled and expired food. And most concerning of all, there’s a scorch mark on the countertop beside the stove.
For family who lives at a distance from their loved ones, these warning signs are often only evident during in-person visits. Nora Jean Levine, executive director from Caring From a Distance, advises adult children to, ‘Open your eyes. Try and really see what’s going on and not what you want to be going on.’ It’s vital to assess both the home and the senior himself (for signs of depression or confusion, bruises that could indicate falls, and other personality changes). And between visits, ask for the help of a trusted neighbor or hire an Aging Life Care Professional to keep an eye on the senior.
Most importantly, the best way to ensure seniors are safe, secure, and thriving is to partner with a professional in-home care agency, such as Home Matters. Providing senior care services including medication reminders, transportation, assistance with housekeeping and meals, and friendly companionship, our dedicated caregivers can make all the difference for both the life of a senior and the family who loves her.