This is the time of year when adult children often visit their aging parents in South Florida. They use their visit to not only spend quality time with their parents, but to try and assess how mom and dad are really doing.
These are some of the things that the geriatric care managers at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center recommend you look for:
- Medication: What prescription and over-the-counter medications are your parents taking? Can they take them without supervision?
- Appointments: How do your parents schedule their appointments and who takes them to the doctor? Do either of your parents refuse to go?
- Driving: Do either of your parents still drive? How is their reaction time and general driving skills? Do you see any signs of damage to their car?
- Housekeeping: How well is the inside of the home maintained? Are there dirty dishes piling up in the sink or bathrooms that have obviously been neglected?
- Outside the home: Is the exterior in good shape? Is the grass overgrown? Windows cracked ?
- Personal Appearance: Have either of your parents lost weight? Is your dad shaving? Does your mom take care of her hair and appearance? Are they showering or bathing and free from body odor? Do you notice dirt under their nails, bad breath or any sores on their skin?
- Financial: Are there bills piled up and unpaid? Do you see stacks of unread mail? Are they careful with their credit cards? Are they acting responsibly with their money and not entering contests or lending money to friends? Do you see any signs of exploitation? Have they bounced any checks or have they had any of their utilities turned off?
- Kitchen: Do they have the appropriate amount of food and is it adequate to meet their needs? Is there lot of spoiled food in the refrigerator? Are there bags of trash stacked up in the garage or on the side of the house?
- Shopping: Do you notice if they have any difficulty writing checks or using cash? Do they use their credit card correctly?
- Socialization: Are they able to carry on an extended conversation with you? Do you notice any repetitiveness? Can they remember the things you spoke about an hour later? Do their questions, comments and conversations make sense? Do they have a circle of friends that they spend time with? Have they stopped doing things they once enjoyed?
Although a recent illness or hospitalization might cause some of these issues to be apparent during your visit, a significant change in what you observe compared to your past visits is important.
The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center provides comprehensive care management services to many adult children that live out of state. Before you leave, call us for a complimentary consultation at 561-588-4545