The holiday season brings family outings, overeating and a great opportunity to see exactly how mom and dad are living in their home. As you are roasting chestnuts on an open fire, be on the lookout for fall hazards, poor diets, unpaid bills and unsafe driving. Many seniors may have potential fall hazards in their home like poor lighting, narrow hallways, throw rugs and inappropriately placed electrical cords. As you notice cords running across the living room or enough throw rugs to create a maze, take the time to visit with your parents about these items. They may not realize the danger in having these items around so it may take a little arm twisting to convince them to part with them.
Take the time to do a thorough inspection of their refrigerator and pantry. Pay close attention to outdated items, untidiness and to the quantity of junk food or items like TV dinners. Unpaid bills are a good sign that your parents are not managing things well. If you cannot get your hands on any of their bills, strike up a conversation about the price of electricity or phone service. This could open up a dialogue about how expensive things are and may reveal that they are clueless about what they are spending on utilities.
Finally, ask them to take you on a drive around the neighborhood. Have them to take you on a new route to the grocery store or church. Put them in positions where they have to parallel park, back up or maneuver around other drivers. This will give you a good idea if driving remains a prudent thing for them to do. Many elderly parents do wonderfully living at home as they age and, if you support their desire to remain independent, medical alert monitoring services like One Call Alert simply provide the added security and peace of mind in knowing that if there was an emergency, help would just be the push of a button away. Think of One Call Alert as the seat belt for your elderly loved ones; most of the time, hopefully, they will never need the service, but when they do, One Call Alert will be there.