What to do when Your Beloved Senior is Declining

Letty left New York for Philadelphia by train to visit her sister and brother-in-law one Thanksgiving; but she left four days early. Her sister and brother-in-law noticed during her prolonged stay with them that she was more forgetful. When they returned her to New York, they discovered piles of papers with unpaid bills interspersed throughout. Concerned neighbors were pleased to learn that Letty's family was taking seriously the signs they had already noticed. Eddy & Schein helped locate a home health agency to supervise medications and was hired to help with bill paying and tax filings. While Letty may eventually need more support going forward, the help her family found for her has given her extra years of independent living.

Holidays Can Be the Time to Check in on the Seniors in Your Life
Holidays are often when people have an opportunity to spend time with their seniors and in the process identify changes from the year before and warning signs of diminished capabilities.

They might notice:

  • Repeated stories (if this is unusual)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Non recognition of family members
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady gait
  • Diminished eating
  • Clutter in a home that was clutter-free
  • Less cleanliness of clothes and/or home
  • Regularly scheduled doctor visits missed

If this is the case, plan a strategy to provide help for your senior. Check to see if long-standing holiday traditions are remembered; e.g., holiday gifts and tipping. Verify that all important documents are in place. In addition, read our September 2009 Feature to see some of the ways that family and friends can help seniors. Alternatively, there are professionals who can be hired. Our August 2009 feature lists professionals who can be of help.

November 2009 - FEATURE
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