Holly Springs, NC (PressExposure) November 24, 2009 -- The holiday season may be one of the few times families get together and realize their elderly loves ones are in deep trouble and need immediate help. Adult children who may not live nearby are often shocked to come home to a holiday heartbreak with deteriorating relatives they werenât prepared to handle. So this holiday, the family might gather around the kitchen table â not only for turkey and treats - but instead for talk, a big talk, that maps out a plan how to care for ailing, elderly relatives.
âThis Thanksgiving and Christmas, thousands of adult children will come home to a sight they never expected to find: Elderly relatives who are lethargic and forgetful. A messy house. Bills piling up. The joy of the season is clouded with the realization that your relatives are suffering and canât make it alone,â says Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers, the fastest growing provider of in-home care for seniors. âThis is often the best time for family members to hash out care solutions everyone agrees on.â
Just ask Paula Peace of Atlanta. Last Thanksgiving and Christmas, Paula and her brother realized their 87- year- old mom, Sally, needed more than just a few presents under the tree. Their mom is legally blind and needed help cooking and bathing. âWe saw mom struggling and we knew the best present for her was in-home care,â says Paula. âWe could see momâs deterioration right in front of us.â
Paula encouraged her mom to hire an in-home caregiver from Senior Helpers seven days a week and now the Peaces feel peace. âSenior Helpers has enabled mom to have the support she needs to live safely and independently in her own home. We donât have to worry or feel guilty. The caregiver turned out to be a holiday present for the entire family,â says Paula.
The Council on Aging offers the Ten Warning Signs Your Older Family Member Needs Help
â¢ Poor eating habits resulting in weight loss, no appetite or missed meals. â¢ Neglected hygiene - wearing dirty clothes, body odor, neglected nails and teeth. â¢ Neglected home so itâs not as clean or sanitary as you remember growing up. â¢ Inappropriate behavior by acting loud, quiet, paranoid or making phone calls at all hours. â¢ Changed relationship patterns that friends or neighbors have noticed. â¢ Burns or injuries resulting from weakness, forgetfulness or misuse of alcohol or meds. â¢ Decreased participation in activities such as attending the senior center, book club or church. â¢ Scorched pots and pans showing forgetfulness for dinner cooking on the stove â¢ Unopened mail, newspaper piles, missed appointments â¢ Mishandled finances such as losing money, paying bills twice or hiding money.
âItâs one thing to all recognize thereâs a problem, but then the whole family has to agree on the solution ,âsays Ross. Thatâs why Senior Helpers advises families to lay out an agenda for a family meeting to reach some kind of peaceful consensus.â
Senior Helpers Guide to Family Planning Meetings:
â¢ The person leading the meeting can be the elderly relative who anticipates needing care in the future. If that person is already needing care, an adult child, friend or relative can lead. â¢ Encourage discussion and get input from everyone. Make sure everyone makes their feelings known. â¢ Discuss money. Who will pay? How? If the money is coming from the elderly relativeâs estate, who will be executor? â¢ At the end of the meeting, everyone present must commit to support the plan. â¢ Write it down. Good intentions are often forgotten over time and family members must have their responsibilities right in front of them.
We can provide a local family and local senior care experts to tell this story. Itâs a great piece to put in the can for the holidays.
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