5 Ways to Support Senior Patients and Their Families During the Holidays

Updated on December 6, 2013

IMG_2340(1) copyThe holiday season is an excellent opportunity to support your senior care patients and their families by preparing them to address any health changes they may notice in their aging loved ones. Holiday gatherings can provide a good backdrop for families to broach these concerns in a gentle, non-confrontational manner.

Here are five ways you can support them in this process.

Provide a Senior Safety Checklist. Remind family members of tips for general safety, such as ensuring the patient has a cane, walker or other proper support if she has difficulty walking; removing throw rugs or other potential tripping hazards; and installing grab bars and no-slip strips where needed.  A Senior Safety Checklist will provide an added peace of mind.

Connect Seniors with Home Helper/Companion Services. Recommend Outlets for Social Engagement.  Since social seniors generally have a healthier and more optimistic outlook on life, ask your patients about their friends and encourage the patient’s family members to do the same. If a patient doesn’t have a strong social network, help the family connect her with enjoyable community activities or companionship services.

Connect Seniors with Home Helper Services. Trouble keeping up with housework is common as seniors experience a decline in health. If the family notices the house looking more unkempt than usual during a holiday visit, connect them with senior care services that include light housekeeping.

Refer Medication Reminder Services. Ask family members to keep tabs on how well their senior loved one follows her medication schedule and to notice whether she is taking the correct pills at appropriate times. Recommend home care services with medication reminders if she needs help maintaining a medication schedule.

Help Them Recognize Common Conditions of Aging. The simple checklist in this “Look-And-See Signs of Aging” article can be especially helpful as family members visit their loved ones and assess what level of at-home assistance is needed.

If family caregivers feel hesitant to confront a loved one about health and safety concerns or meet with resistance once they do, you might want to share this free 40-70 Rule® Conversation Starter Booklet with them. It contains conversation starters to help families discuss their concerns in a diplomatic and productive way.

For senior patients who need more assistance with tasks of daily living such as housekeeping or adhering to a medication schedule, you may wish to refer the family to local in-home care services.  The Home Instead Senior Care® network offers free, no-obligation care consultations that allow patients and families to sit down and discuss care options with a home care professional. The holidays are the perfect time to schedule an appointment when all family members are present. Get in touch with Find a Home Instead Office near you local franchise office to help your patients schedule a free consultation.

CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care can make a difference in the lives of older adults and their families by providing support with activities of daily living to help keep them independent for as long as possible.  For more information about Home Instead Senior Care visit www.homeinstead.com/greaterpittsburgh or call 1-866-996-1087

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