Visiting your aging parents for Thanksgiving? Enjoying your family time is also an opportunity to see how your aging parents are faring. Linda Rhodes, author of several caregiving books and former secretary of aging for the state of Pennsylvania, recently wrote about what to look for during your visit with Mom and Dad. Here's a summary:
Around the house: Is the house more unkempt than usual? What about bills and paperwork? Do they look like they are under control?
The refrigerator: The contents of your parents' refrigerator can be telling. Is the food fresh or expired? Is it properly stocked?
The medicine cabinet: If like many older people your parent is taking numerous medications, do they seem to be organized? Are expired medicines still on the shelf?
Are your parents still socially connected? Do they leave the house, or does it seem like they are becoming more isolated?
How is their driving? Ask them to take you for a ride.
Rhodes suggests several ways to help:
- Organize their medications.
- Become familiar with your parents' local support system and resources.
- Help them with their paperwork.
Another resource to help you assess your parents' safety and health is available from the Mayo Clinic.
A healthy and happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.