No matter how long you’ve been a caregiver, you need some fast, easy ways to be able to ascertain how your senior is really doing. These are some quick checks you can do when you stop by for a visit.
Really Look at Your Senior.
You can look at someone every day and not notice little changes. Take the time to really look at your senior the next time you see her. Is she dressing differently or has her hygiene changed? These are small changes that can indicate to you that there are some subtle differences in how your senior is able to care for herself.
Assess How She Interacts.
You’ll also learn a lot by watching what your senior does as she interacts with you and with other people. Is she able to follow the conversation, or does she seem to get a bit lost? If she seems to space out more often, she could have trouble hearing or there could be other issues at play. It’s important to get to the root of the issue.
Just Look Around the House a Bit.
There’s a lot you can glean about your elderly family member’s overall well-being just by glancing around the house. You’re looking for an increase in clutter, for instance, or signs that it’s getting more difficult to keep the house clean. This might be a way for you to recommend elderly care providers, too, because they can handle those tasks that are getting to be a bit much for your senior.
Open Some Cabinets.
It might feel nosy, but take a minute and open a cabinet or two. This is especially important if you are familiar with where your senior tends to keep things. Did you see what you expected when you opened the cabinet or were there odd, misplaced items inside? If cabinets are overstuffed, that could mean that your senior is trying to hide items when you come over so you don’t notice clutter.
Peek in the Fridge.
Finally, you’re going to need to take a closer look at how well your senior is eating. You can make a quick guess by looking in her fridge. If she’s got plenty of fresh, healthy food choices, she’s likely eating well. On the other hand, if you spot a lot of processed foods or food that is expired or that looks as if it’s gone bad, that’s not a good sign.
There are some more in-depth criteria you can use, too, such as her health concerns and whether she’s still able to drive. But these are some really easy situations that you can keep tabs on regularly as a measure of what’s changing with your senior and what isn’t.