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Seeing the folks at the holidays? Good time to assess their wellness


By Heather Kenney, North River Home Care

nursing-homeHoliday visit or wellness check? The answer is both.

The holidays are often a time for happy reunions with aging parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles who you haven’t seen in months or perhaps even years. A holiday visit is the perfect time to assess how your loved one is doing because you are able to look for visual clues indicating signs of decline that you would not be able to glean through a telephone call.
We advise family members of the 10 signs to watch for that are a cause for concern:

  • Weight loss
  • Not maintaining his/her personal appearance and hygiene
  • Not remembering when to take medication and not knowing what condition each medication is treating
  • Not eating nutritious meals or not eating at all
  • Food in the refrigerator or on the shelves that is past its expiration date or molding
  • Not maintaining the home by doing chores such as cleaning bathrooms, washing floors or regular vacuuming
  • Not paying bills – unpaid or unopened piles of bills are a red flag
  • Not taking proper care of a pet
  • Avoiding or having difficulty ascending/descending steps
  • Limiting contact with or lacking an interest in the outside world

A single, isolated sign doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is in trouble. Sometimes you can just feel a change in a person even if you can’t articulate it. If there are numerous signs and you believe that your loved one may be having difficulty, you need to address it with your loved one and other close family members. Your aging loved one may be in need of a number of services – from companionship to personal care and homemaking .
Single-service care options such as meals-on-wheels or an adult daycare may be enough. But, oftentimes a multi-service home care provider is needed to provide the companion, homemaker and personal care services that enable seniors and those with disabilities to remain in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.
The North River Home Care staff sees the many challenges that today’s families face when trying to balance senior care, family care, and work. The mission is to ensure a better quality of life for our elderly clients and peace of mind for their families. The company is family owned and the Norwell and Sandwich, MA offices serve all of the South Shore and Cape Cod.
Services include personal and companionship care, respite care, transportation, dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

HeatherKenney headshot1 (2)

Heather Kenney

For more information or a free copy of   “The Home Care Handbook” authored by Heather Kenney, please contact North River Home Care located 275 Longwater Drive, Norwell, MA 02061 and 449 Route 130, Suite 20, Sandwich, MA 02563, online at www.NorthRiverHC.com and (781) 659-1366.
Reprinted from the December 2017 issue of the South Shore Senior News.