Here’s a lightly updated version of an article we first ran on Dec. 11, 2012. Like some of the other articles about this topic we’ve been re-posting this week, it may help you and your clients begin a long and difficult conversation about how things have changed.
Here we are in the middle of another holiday season.
Like most people, I enjoy spending the holidays in the company of family and friends, catching up on the year’s events and reliving old memories.
As you speak with clients this month, remind them how holiday visits can also be an important opportunity to check in on aging parents and older relatives with an eye toward their potential long-term care (LTC) needs.
(Related: Turkey Time: 4 Year-End Review Strategies)
Of course, there are a number of comprehensive tools and resources available to assess one’s LTC needs, but here are four things to keep in mind before taking the next steps.
1. Day-to-day life Evaluate how loved ones handle everyday tasks or activities of daily living. Are they struggling to get dressed or bathe without help? Are they able to lend a hand in the kitchen when preparing a holiday meal or feed themselves during dinner? If visiting a loved one’s home, be sure to also check how they get around the house – including up and down stairs – or if the home presents any safety issues.
2.Physical health Simply asking, “How are you?” can start a conversation that sheds a little light on everything from daily issues to recent doctor visits that give a clearer picture their health. Also, see if they have noticeably lost weight (a sign they may not be eating well) and observe if they are maintaining their personal health and well-being.