It’s the time of year for joyous holiday visits with elderly parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. It’s also the time to be on alert for signs of decline that indicate a need for assistance around the house, according to Connecticut senior home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS).
“If it’s been a while since you’ve last seen an older family member in person, look for physical or mental impairments impacting their daily life and safety in and outside of the home,” explained Mario D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire and Westport. “For example, can they prepare healthy meals, keep up with chores and practice good hygiene? Can they run errands and be active?”
D’Aquila shares that clutter in the home becomes dangerous as it increases the risk of falls and impedes the activities of daily living. It can also be a sign of depression.
“Mental health needs to be monitored in conjunction with physical health,” said D’Aquila. “Isolation and loneliness can accelerate decline. Our caregivers provide a crucial social connection by playing games, decorating for the holidays, or taking clients to visit friends or attend religious services.”
D’Aquila notes that while a post-holiday slump, or the Winter Blues, affects many people, older adults who may not soak up much fresh air and sunshine are especially susceptible. They may avoid going outdoors even more in the coming months if they are concerned about falling on snow and ice. By utilizing new sophisticated Personal Emergency Response Systems, seniors can be assured that help is available at the touch of a button or devices equipped with Fall Detection can call emergency responders. GPS location technologies enable care specialists to locate the user in an emergency.
Technological devices can help a senior maintain independence inside the home as well. ALS offers a free home evaluation to address the main risk factors that impact seniors and individuals with disabilities the most: falls, medication compliance, fire safety, and rapid access to emergency care. The ALS CarePlus custom care plan includes electronic devices from its sister company, Assisted Living Technologies, Inc., to supplement personal care. There are automated medication dispensers to improve compliance, home safety devices that shut off a stove that is inadvertently left on, fall avoidance technologies, and remote monitoring systems.
D’Aquila offers warning signs that may indicate an elderly person needs additional help around the house or increased personal care:
- Neglect of physical appearance or basic hygiene
- Neglect of medical needs
- Trouble performing routine tasks or chores
- Personality changes
- Inability to handle finances, pay bills
- Unsteadiness, clumsiness or recent history of falling
The first step should be a visit to their primary care physician for a check-up to make sure there are no underlying causes and review all medications. The doctor is the best resource to help determine if professional home health care, such as nursing care, or physical therapy is necessary. Oftentimes all that is necessary is the right non-medical support at home.
“Age-related decline can happen quickly, so even if you see a loved one often, subtle changes can be easy to overlook,” according to D’Aquila. “Eldercare specialists are a family’s best resource to make a plan of action to age in place and provide peace of mind for the entire family.”
About Assisted Living Service, Inc. & Assisted Living Technologies, Inc.
Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their unique CarePlus program blends personal care by over 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.
PHOTO: The Smart Caregiver cordless bed sensor pad and alarm are some of the many technological devices offered by Assisted Living Technologies, Inc that keep seniors safe from falls and wandering. Courtesy of: Assisted Living Technologies, Inc.