Monday, February 24, 2014

An Essential Wellness Checklist for Elderly Loved Ones

As your parent ages, you want to be able to track their health and their needs while making sure that they have all necessary medications. However, if there are multiple caregivers involved, this process can get confusing. For this reason, home care professionals recommend devising a wellness checklist to protect senior health. This compiles all necessary information about this senior’s health, and also helps to monitor note-worthy changes. The checklist should include things like:

  • Contact information for any doctors or caregivers
  • An assessment of that elderly individual’s current level of wellness, including any medical conditions they are currently facing
  • A list of prescriptions
  • Any changes in mental health, such as poor hygiene, depression, or memory issues
  • Changes in physical health, including weight gain or loss, injuries, abilities, and fatigue levels
  • Changes in relationships with other people like family members, caregivers, and friends
  • An assessment of the senior’s environment
  • Hobbies that the senior currently enjoys

Elder care services professionals explain that when you see your elderly family member every day, you may not notice subtle changes that happen over time. When this information is recorded and well documented, it makes it easy to become aware of these progressions and to then address any issues that may have developed over time. This checklist is particularly important if you share caregiving duties with other family members or an elder care professional, as it helps to prevent any confusion or miscommunication.

As the elderly individual continues to age, it is important to make note of some important questions. Though these conversations are not easy to have, discussing the following questions ensures that everyone is on the same page about how the senior wants to spend their last years:

  • Do you have a living will?
  • How long would you like to stay in your home?
  • Do you have specific wishes about your last days or your funeral?
  • Are there any other loose ends that need to be addressed?

Caring for an elderly loved one can be a draining process, and checklists such as these help to prevent any important details from slipping through the cracks. 

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