[INFOGRAPHIC] Holiday Check-In with Mom and Dad

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Going home for the holidays provides an opportunity to check in with your mom or dad and ensure that they are healthy, thriving, and happy. More than 7,000,000 Americans care for a loved from from a distance according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Take the opportunity this holiday season to check in with your loved ones and ensure that they are healthy and happy.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Holiday Check-In with Mom and Dad

  1. 1. Now is a good time to do minor upkeep on your parents home. Replace all the batteries while you are home. Check the electrical outlets for burning and remove extension cords. Replace open, electrical space heaters. Place them away from furniture. What kind of shape is the checkbook in? Are any of the checks to people or organizations you are unfamiliar with? Do you find unpaid or delinquent bills in the desk? Are messages left on the answering machine? Is there fresh, nutritious food in the cupboard and refrigerator? Are smoke detectors working correctly? Is the microwave oven clean? Are there burn marks anywhere? Do they appear clean? Do they dress like they always have? Are they drinking more alcohol? Are their prescriptions current? Do they identify a need for help with a bath? Look for bruising. Traveling home to visit your parents over the holidays can be one of the most special experiences of the year. But going over the hill and through the woods to Grandma’s house isn’t just a festive experience: it offers you a chance to see first-hand how mom and dad are doing. Do they repeat themselves frequently? Do they seem agitated, anxious, or depressed? Do they laugh at old stories and visit old friends, or have they become more antisocial? If you don’t see your elderly loved ones regularly, when you drop by for the holidays, you may be surprised at the changes you observe in their mental status and physical ability. While you are at home, ask yourself the following questions to evaluate how your loved ones are doing living independently. The National Alliance for Caregiving estimates that 7,000,000 Americans care for a loved one from a distance. As the population of older adults in the United States skyrockets, this number will grow along with it. Have they lost weight? Weight loss can be a sign of illness and/or malnourishment, and should be brought to a physician s attention. Have they kept recent medical appointments? Are they unstable on their feet or holding onto furniture to walk? Do they report falling? Do they recognize that they need to use a cane, walker, or bathroom grab bars?

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