Jingle bells, hot chocolate and twinkling lights signals the arrival of the holiday season which brings together people for family celebrations. This provides the perfect opportunity to check in on the elderly loved ones in our lives.
What indications should spark concern and some deeper probing? The most important sign to be on the lookout for is any changes in the loved one’s appearance, activity and living space.
Has the loved one suddenly lost or gained weight? Have they stopped maintaining their personal hygiene or do they dress inappropriately for the weather? Are they forgetting important details or how to accomplish daily tasks?
A simple conversation can bring about information as to whether or not they are still able to run their normal errands, keep doctor’s appointments and participate in social engagements.
When looking around the loved one’s living space, there are some quick observations to be made. Are things as tidy as normal or are there piles of unopened mail, dishes, and garbage? Are there safety measures, such as grab bars, installed in the bathroom? Is the kitchen and pantry stocked with adequate groceries and household supplies?
These questions are just a starting point for making sure that our loved ones are safe, secure and set for the future.
Senior and Disability Services offers a free resource, the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), that can assist families with this task. The ADRC offers assistance via the telephone, their website, or in person and can answer most any question related to seniors or persons with disabilities.
When an issue can’t be resolved with one conversation, the ADRC also offers a free in-depth service called options counseling. Options counseling can provide a home visit to discuss issues that are going on, offers decision support, long term planning assistance and follow-up.
To contact the ADRC or to request an options counseling appointment, call 1-855- 673-2372 or visit their website at www.adrcoforegon.org. People can also visit Senior and Disability Services at 203 North Main Street in Toledo or reach them at 541-336-2289.