Checking in on Aging Parents in Florida

The holidays are nearly upon us and the New Year is just around the corner. This is a time when many people stop to reflect upon their lives, and plan for the future. As Baby Boomers, we may be struggling within the “sandwich,” still raising kids and seeing them through college while trying to keep an eye on our aging parents. Many of these aging parents live in Florida. While visiting Mom and Dad in Florida this season, take the time to check-up on their health and overall well-being. Even slight changes can be a potential pre-cursor to something worse down the road, so take stock now to avoid a potentially troublesome future.

Here are a few things to look for when visiting this holiday:

Have mom or dad lost weight?
How is their hygiene-hair combed, clothes clean, etc…
Are they getting out and doing extra activities?
Do they move freely and naturally throughout the house, or do they have trouble locating things?
Is there food in the pantry? Is it expired?
Are once organized areas now disheveled?
Are there unpaid bills laying about?
How are any pets or plants doing?
Do medications seem organized, or are they empty/expired/missing?

This is by no means a complete list, but it gives you an idea of what types of things to look for. If something appears particularly bothersome to you, don’t just let it go. You know your parents best, and if they are not “on” like you remember, it may be time to delve in and see what needs to be done to ensure that they age well.

Many times adult children realize that it is counterproductive to try to tell their aging parents in Florida what to do. Here’s another option: After visiting, make a list of your concerns and address them with a professional South Florida Geriatric Care Manager. Sometimes it is more effective for an arm’s length third party professional with no “family baggage” to address these issues.

We would like to wish each and everyone a safe and joyous holiday! May we all take the time out of our busy lives to enjoy one another and make lasting memories. To all of our Advocare families, we would like to express our gratitude and thanks for the trust you have given us to care for you and your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

For help assessing the situation and navigating South Florida Alzheimer’s resources, visit Advocare at http://www.caremanage.com.

For more information on “having the conversation,” here are a couple of resources:
(1) “Mom, It’s Time to Talk” – SmartMoney interview with professional geriatric care managers on how to discuss concerns with parents.

(2) What happens during a professional geriatric assessment.

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