Caring for Elderly Parents Can Require You Checking Their Refrigerators!

Tis the season to celebrate, rejoice, and often, reunite with loved ones near and far - including the elderly parents and relatives in our family who may not live near by. It's also a perfect time to do a bit of "home inspection" when you are visiting senior friends and relatives. Not snooping, of course. But looking more closely than you might normally.

It's a great opportunity to make sure they really are doing as well as they say they are. I have had a couple of beloved seniors over the years who I would call regularly. They always assured me they were doing just fine. But when I was finally able to get out to visit them, I discovered they definitely needed some extra help and closer oversight.

And that's not necessarily true just for the long distance relatives. I had a sweet aging neighbor, once, who I shopped for each week. While I was concerned about her deteriorating health, I didn't worry about what she was eating, since I knew about all the healthy items I was getting her. When she continued to worsen and I had to step in a bit more proactively, I was shocked to find quite a bit of that healthy food dead and dying in the fridge.

Now, when I visit aging relatives, I make sure I take a quick peek in their fridge, just to be sure they are eating OK.

If you do find that your senior relatives need some extra help, but are otherwise fine at home, some great resources to help them and you can include:

Meals on Wheels

A  housekeeper - through an agency, their church, or friend's referrals - once a week or even once a month

A gardener 3-4 times a month during the growing season. And if they live in snow country, perhaps they could come periodically to shovel the snow for them

Eventually, they may need to relocate to your home or a care facility, to ensure their safety and healthy well-being. But these simple little tips can often enable them to stay in their own home a bit longer - making them and you very happy. And that's often the best gift of all, isn't it.

Kaye Swain is a member of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and relatives in her family while also babysitting grandchildren. She enjoys writing on those topics at SandwichINK, in order to provide other multigenerational caregivers with useful information, resources and encouragement.

8 Responses

  1. [...] when you are visiting senior friends and relatives. Not snooping, of course. [...] Elder Care ABC This entry was posted in In Home Care and tagged Caring, Checking, Elderly, Parents, [...]
  2. Thanks for sharing this :) I just posted it at Facebook and G+ . Have a great day!
  3. [...] you will find monthly guest posts from yours truly, and this month's post, Caring for Elderly Parents Can Require You Checking Their Refrigerators!, was very personal for me as well as another friend who is also caring for elderly parents. It [...]
  4. That's so sweet of you that you look over your neighbor. These days you'd be hard pressed to find people being concerned by their neighbors or even their families that lives away from their city.
  5. Such a simple concept but you have hit the nail on the head. Checking the refrigerator is one sure fire way to guage how well a senior is managing in their home! Great post! <a href="//”" rel="nofollow">Home Care in Cincinnati</a</a>
  6. Ipad Elders, you are so right about that for so many neighborhoods. It really takes time and work. And for those who move often, like we've had to the last few years - due to caregiving needs, it's doubly difficult. But it's definitely worth pursuing when you can! Neighborhood Watch is a wonderful program that I highly recommend when you are able to participate or even start it. It was thru their program that I eventually developed very close relationships with several of the seniors in my block - it's definitely a double blessing for them to have extra eyes keeping an eye out for them and all our neighborhoods. :)
  7. Isn't it, Kristin. But I was so "well-mannered" I would never have thought of doing that until this particular incident. Now, tho, I have learned it is definitely more caring to be "eyes-opened" when visiting for the sake of beloved elderly friends and relatives!
  8. Thanks for the community reminders about caring for our wiser ones. -------- <a href="" rel="nofollow">Free San Diego Resource for Assisted Living Information</a>
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