For families that live out of town from their aging loved one, the holidays are sometimes one of the few times a year they can really visit with their loved ones. Often times, our parents don’t want to be a burden on their children and don’t want to be a bother, which often leads to them not disclosing or acknowledging certain struggles during phone calls. A visit during the holidays offers a great opportunity to check on their behaviors and physical capabilities to see that they are performing simple daily activities with ease- and if not, the visit allows you the opportunity to assess the best course of action so that your senior can stay safe in their own home.

Senior Helpers of Moraga has always worked to provide and maintain safe environments for the seniors in all parts of the East Bay. As a part of our mission to make home care our personal business, we have created a list along with the help of Caregiver Magazine, of things to keep an eye out for during the holiday season with your loved ones.

Exercise- Daily walking is good for maintaining good balance, muscle strength, and respiratory capabilities, however, if any of these tasks have become difficult for your senior, daily walks may become a scary task because making it home safely can become uncertain. Therefore, walks may fall to the wayside, thus, creating a catch 22. Senior Helpers offers companion care for your senior in the Lamorinda area-or elsewhere in the East Bay- to provide reassurance on their walks.

“Furniture walking” indoors- If you notice your senior using furniture for support when maneuvering about, or maybe they have rearranged the furniture so that they have something to hold onto, or perhaps they are using less of the home, or using limited walking patterns, it may be time to suggest they use a cane or walker. While many senior are reluctant to the change, most often they have forgotten how much easier walking used to be and are reminded when they use an aid.

Hygiene Habits- Bathrooms are an accident hot-spot for seniors, so if you notice your senior using less of the bathroom (less frequent showers, etc.) it may be out of fear of falling. Many agree that sitting and standing from a chair (similar to sitting and standing from the toilet) is much like an exercise. If you notice your parent having a difficult time standing up- making several attempts or rocking to gain momentum – they may have become weaker and there is now more potential to fall. By installing grab bars by the tubs and showers and toilets, you can gain piece of mind. Changing clothes less often could also be an indicator of a few things: decreased hand strength, decreased arm or shoulder rotation, or increased tremors or arthritis. Often when a task becomes too difficult to perform with the previous ease, people will stop doing that task completely, which causes a quicker decline in ability. Try products know as aids to daily living such as dressing aids, zipper pulls, sock aids, elastic shoelaces, long handle shoe horns.

If you notice your senior becoming a bit more cluttered-maybe they leave things on the counter that they usually stored away, or they have stopped using certain products- it could be an indication that they have lost hand and arm strength and are unable to put things away or unable to open them, etc. Try suggesting your senior use reachers or grabbers, bottle and jar openers, and large-grip dining utensils.

For any other aid, Senior Helpers of Moraga offers home visits, personal and companion care to seniors in the Contra Costa-Alameda areas. For more information on our services or caregivers, visit our website or call our office at (925)376-8000.  And lastly, Senior Helpers of Moraga would like to wish all of our readers a safe, happy holiday season!

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