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Care Management and Home Care Services
Is it time for Care Management or Home Care Services?

December 26, 2023

 –  During my holiday visit, I couldn’t help but notice subtle signs indicating that mom might need some additional support. Her once impeccably kept house seemed somewhat disorganized, a stark contrast to her usual meticulous standards. There were unopened bills on the dining table, and the refrigerator was less stocked than usual. I also observed her struggling a bit with remembering certain details, which was unusual for her. These observations signaled to me that it might be time for us as a family to consider what additional help we could provide to ensure mom’s comfort and wellbeing.

Witnessing the signs of aging in our parents can stir a whirlwind of emotions in us as adult children. The realization that our once seemingly invincible caregivers are also susceptible to the vulnerabilities of age can be a jarring experience. This shift often results in feelings of concern, sadness, and even anxiety about their future health and wellbeing. We might find ourselves juggling our own responsibilities with the increasing needs of our aging parents, a balancing act that can bring both stress and fulfillment. There is an inevitable role reversal that occurs, as we transition from being cared for, to becoming the caregivers. It’s a profound change that deeply impacts our relationships and prompts us to engage in important conversations about care, support, and the realities of aging.

As adult children notice signs that their parents are aging and may require additional physical assistance at home, they come to find that there are steps that can be taken.  First, start with having an open and sincere dialog to discuss observations and concerns with your parents in a respectful manner, acknowledging their autonomy and feelings.  Secondly, consider seeking professional help from doctors or geriatric care managers for a comprehensive evaluation of parent’s health status. This can provide a much clearer understanding of needs and suggest an appropriate care plan.  It may be beneficial to enlist the help of a home care aid or part-time caregiver to assist with acitivites of daily living.  Modifying the home to improve safety and accessibility can be extremely helpful.  This can include installing handrails, removing trip hazards, adding ramps, or ensuring indoor and outdoor steps are safe and not in disrepair.  Considering assistive devices may be optimal in some cases. 

Enter Emily, a dedicated daughter, visiting her mother, Margaret, who lived alone in their family home during a Thanksgiving break. As she spent time with Margaret, she noticed that her mother was having difficulty with everyday tasks. Margaret was struggling to maintain her balance while climbing the stairs and appeared to forget her medication schedule.

Detecting a need for immediate assistance, Emily initiated an open conversation about her observations and concerns with her mother. Despite Margaret’s initial resistance, Emily emphasized her worries and her unwavering commitment to her mother’s wellbeing. She asked, “mom…just do this for me!”.

To help her mother, Emily sought professional advice from a geriatric care manager. After a thorough health assessment, it was suggested that Margaret could greatly benefit from a part-time caregiver’s assistance and some home modifications to enhance safety. Emily promptly arranged these services, ensuring her mother had help with daily tasks and her medication schedule. To make the home environment safer, Emily installed handrails in the bathroom, improved the lighting in the house, and removed potential tripping hazards.  She also enrolled mom in a monitoring system that included an emergency pendant.

Emily’s actions during the holiday season were transformative for both her and Margaret. Not only did Margaret’s quality of life significantly improve, but Emily also found peace of mind knowing that her mother was safe and well-cared for. This experience underscored the importance of attentive observation, open communication, and timely action when caring for aging parents.

To schedule a free 45 minute consultation about this and other related topics, reach out to us @ 888.451.4290 – We are here to help adult children deal with aging parent’s issues.

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