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Help at Home for Parents?

 Tips on What to Look For 

December 2013

Issue 19               

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Nancy is co-Founder of
The Boxwood Alliance
for Active Aging



Nancy Gould,
Past President Estate Planning Council of Putnam County

Wishing you joy in your home and peace in your world at Christmastime and always.  

Help at Home for Parents?
Tips on What to Look For 


Since few of us know what are signs that tell us a family member or friend needs assistance in living from day to day,  I am forwarding this article that can serve as a check list.   All of us at times ignore or deny what we do not want to  accept.   Changes in a loved ones mental or physical health may be one.  For the well being of a loved one, please read more.

Article used with permission from:  


Take An Aging Parent Reality Care Check This Holiday Advises Long Term Care Insurance Association

Beginning with Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year's millions of adult children will visit their aging parents.   You've been talking by phone all year being told everything is fine.   But, once you arrive, it is obvious that all is not well.

"The holidays are an ideal time to take an aging parental reality care check to avoid future calamity," suggests Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.  "Those who can't regularly look in on aging family members should use seasonal visits to help aging parents maintain their independence as long as possible."


Holiday visits provide an ideal opportunity to assess the health of a loved one, to address home safety issues and to discuss important planning issues.  "People tend to hope that a problem is not really happening to them and that it will go away by itself; denying reality is common."


How do you tell that your aging parent may need help at home?  The Association shares some things to watch for.

  • Bruises that cannot be explained which often result from a fall.
  • Spoiled food on shelves or in the fridge.
  • Difficulty getting up from a chair.
  • Smell of urine in the home.
  • Stacks of unopened mail.
  • Late payment notices, letters from bill collectors or bounced checks.
  • Dents or scratches on a car.

"The holidays are also a good time to check the home environment and make it safer for elderly parents," Slome notes.  Address safety issues such as loose rugs or wires that could result in falls.  "Write down important information including the license plate of the parent's car," Slome advises.  "That way, if it is gone, you'll have information accessible to share with the police."  


Other suggestions include preparing a written list of medications and the physician contact information.  "Record important local resources such as plumbers or electricians should repair issues arise," Slome adds.  "Ask if the parent has prepared advanced health directives and know where they keep copies.  If they own long term care insurance protection, write down the policy number and claim department contact information."


Many older Americans eventually need some hands-on assistance.  For some, the holidays are often the time when families recognize that eventuality has arrived.  For others, a home and care reality check-up is an excellent opportunity to put things in good order.