Make a List and Check It Twice: Ensure Safety at Home for Your Parents This Holiday

safety at homeLiving at a distance makes it hard to visit our aging loved ones as often as we’d like, but during the holidays, families make an extra effort for in-person time together – making it the perfect opportunity to assess a senior’s safety at home. There are a number of red flags that aren’t noticed in weekly phone calls, emails, or even through Skype, but which often become apparent when the family gathers together for the holiday season.

The professional home care team at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care recommends asking yourself the following questions to determine if there are any senior safety risks that need to be further explored:

Home Concerns:

  • Is there a change in cleanliness of the home?
  • Is there an accumulation of clutter, such as stacks of mail and newspapers?
  • Is food in the fridge and pantry fresh?
  • Are there scorch or burn marks on pots/pans, countertops, or anywhere else in the kitchen?
  • Is the home being kept at a comfortable temperature?

Physical Concerns:

  • Has the senior lost or gained weight?
  • Has overall hygiene declined?
  • Are there any bruises, burns, or other injuries?
  • Does the senior seem to be experiencing issues with balance or strength?
  • Are all necessary medical aids being used and in good order, such as glasses, dentures, hearing aids?

Financial Concerns:

  • Are there collection notices, unpaid bills, phone messages from debt collectors?
  • Do bank statements include any suspicious activity?
  • Is the senior lacking in any necessities?
  • Is the senior receiving – and responding inappropriately to – solicitation calls or mailings?
  • Are there any additional names listed on bank statements that could indicate potential fraud?

If these or any other red flags are noticed, an important starting point is to schedule an appointment with the senior’s primary care physician to address any potential health problems. Then, contact Home Sweet Home In-Home Care for help in resolving a variety of issues related to aging at home, including meal preparation, light housework, transportation to doctors’ appointments, friendly companionship to prevent isolation and loneliness, and much more.

It is the mission of Home Sweet Home In-Home Care to keep seniors safe, healthy, and thriving at home. Our caregiving staff are fully screened, interviewed, and background checked to ensure peace of mind for families, and trained and experienced in a variety of aspects of senior care. Call us at (269) 849-9252 for a free in-home consultation and to learn more about our St. Joseph, MI senior care services and the other Michigan communities we serve. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.


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