5 Things to Think About For Mom & Dad
HEALTH: Are their doctors providing consistent and accurate care for them? Are they taking their medications as prescribed? Are there any reactions to the medications they are taking? Anemia and dehydration occur more frequently with elders. Are they eating properly? Are they able to shop or do they need a delivery service?
SAFETY: Sometimes repairs or things not working properly get taken for granted or forgotten about. Is there a clear plan for emergencies? Are the batteries for the fire alarms changed on a routine basis? How about the fire extinguishers are they up to date. Is the environment clutter free and lighting optimum? Are there any throw rugs or cords which could increase the risk of falling?
FINANCE: Be thoughtful of privacy and suggest reviewing requests for causes together to prevent fraud. Are they secure with a fixed income and able to meet their basic needs? Are they able to manage their finances independently? Are their insurance policies and prescription plans up to date and adequate?
SOCIAL: Has their socializing decreased? If so, is there a cause that needs to be addressed? Incontinence, transportation or other issues could be a factor. Regular family visits may help to clarify and rectify issues.
PAPERWORK: Will their rights be protected by Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Advanced Directives? Are their will and other legal documents in order?
These are some great things to think about for yourself, on a regular basis, also. Sometimes being a Family Caregiver starts earlier than we imagine. Being a role model for our own self care, may be a way to thoughtfully introduce challenging topics. How do we respect the privacy, independence and dignity of our parents? How can we communicate effectively, as we explore new roles? What do you think?