Holidays time to notice changes
Senior Crossroads is on hiatus for the holidays and will resume in January 2011.
I would like to leave you all with some thoughts for the season.
As we head into the holidays and family visits, the stress can become overwhelming - particularly for our seniors.
Many of them start to panic this time of year because of all the family coming around. Up until now, they have been able to hide things that aren't quite right. But now many of them fear that their family will see that they aren't coping as well as they should and will want to "put them away."
As seniors age, those who see them daily often can find it difficult to notice changes in their health and behavior. As families get together for the holidays, it may be a perfect time for family members to pay attention to elderly loved ones and discuss their health, well-being and options.
This is your opportunity to not only shower love on your elder family members, but also to observe their environment, personal hygiene and their habits. Be prepared to see changes and possibly to be shocked if you haven't seen them for a while.
If the time has come for a talk with your loved one, please be gentle.
While you may want to keep things light during the holiday season, do take this opportunity to collect all necessary information now to avoid frustration and confusion in the event of a crisis down the road.
And remember to give your loved ones the power and permission to be in control of their own lives - as much as is reasonable. The more systems you have in place, the more your loved ones will be kept independent and safe in their own home, giving you peace of mind as you return home from your holiday and future visits.
Wishing you and yours all the best during this holiday. Show your love. Be safe.
For more information and resource assistance, please e-mail Pam Scott at email@example.com or call 683-7047.
Scott has many years of experience working with seniors and their families in skilled nursing, assisted living, transportation, and benefits.
She is the community relations director for Discovery Memory Care in Sequim.
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