If you don’t see your elder parent often, the holidays are a time to notice changes in mood, behavior, health, and home safety.

What to watch for:
As you drive up to your parent’s home, you don’t see the usual Christmas lights or yard decorations. As you enter their home you are not seeing a tree or any Christmas decorations there, either. You know they have them and always like to decorate the home inside and out.

Or it might be that at first glance everything seems to be in order and your parents are glad to see you. As you sit down for a cup of coffee, in the kitchen, reality starts to set in.

  •  The refrigerator and pantry are overpacked with outdated food.
  • Dust bunnies are in the kitchen corners.
  • The dishes in the strainer are not clean.
  • Papers are stacked on the back porch.
  • Unopened mail is stacked up on the table and you can see that some envelopes say Final Notice or Overdue.
  • There is a stack of full garbage bags on the back patio when garbage is usually taken out front to the can.

As you are looking around and noticing the situation, you start to wonder about a few other things.

You make your way to the living room and stop at the bathroom door where you see:

  • The bathroom has a smell of odor and has not been cleaned in a while.
  • The garbage is overflowing with discarded pads.
  • The tub has not been used, the shower head is moldy, and the bar of soap is dried and cracked.

You are starting to get the picture and realize this visit calls for some immediate action on your part. Without alarming your parents, you can offer to help them clean up. Mom says that would be great, dad says there isn’t anything that needs to be done. He is taking care of it.

These are some key points that can’t be ignored. You make a call to our team and describe what you have discovered. Of course, this is just their living conditions, you haven’t had a chance to check on their personal health, their finances, if they’re okay driving, etc. Our team will help you evaluate the whole situation and provide recommendations that will immediately improve the situation as well as those that will help over time to make sure that your parents are receiving quality care.

Healthwise your parents are mobile enough to get around the house, but you notice that both of them are having memory issues. The remote is missing so they can’t turn on the TV. After doing some searching on your own you find it in the silverware drawer. It is time for bed, mom asks if she is sleeping here tonight, as if she were the guest. In the morning you realize she slept in her clothes because she leaked and her pants are wet. You assist here to the bathroom, and respectfully ask her what you can do to help, while you find clean pants and underwear.

Your heart drops because you have only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

Your care manager will be able to address all these concerns. The resources in the community are plentiful and your goal to keep your parents together is possible. It’s a good thing that you came for the visit and could see what was happening because you are now able to work with a care manager who can be your eyes and ears on the ground to make sure that their care is handled and you participate every step of the way, even though you live at a distance.

If you have concerns about your aging parent or loved one, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at info@gcmsolutions.net to find out how we can help!