When additional health care may be needed.Posted August 28, 2012
Are you noticing changes in your loved ones’ behavior that seems to indicate a decline in their health? Are you helping your loved ones more often, taking on more responsibility, and worrying more? When someone’s health declines, often the family member who lives closest takes on caregiving or care-coordinating responsibility. If that’s your situation, it’s important to realize you’re not alone. You don’t have to do it all. You have resources you can count on.
Signs to look for
If you’re noticing two or more of the following behaviors or changes, it’s time to talk with your loved one about your concerns. It may also be time to get some help from family members or experts.
- Forgetting to take medication or not taking it as directed
- Not eating properly and regularly
- Unexplained weight loss
- Missing appointments
- Increase in accidents or bruises
- Frequent emergency room visits
- Neglecting the bills
- Unusually cluttered or dirty house
- Change in personal hygiene
- Loss of interest in social activities
- Changes in mood or confusion
Work together as a family
If you have siblings or other family members who can help, talk to them. Make sure they know your concerns. Set up a family meeting or conference call if necessary. Discuss the situation, divide responsibilities and agree on an action plan where everyone has a role. Schedule a time to regroup and make sure everything is being accomplished.
Talk to your loved one
Share your concerns about her or her well-being and the plan you’ve developed with other family members. It may be a difficult conversation, or he or she may be relieved you care. Most importantly, you’ll be doing something now that could well be heading off an emergency situation in the future.
Ask the experts
There are many experts available to help, from your loved one’s physicians, to mediators who can help families at odds, geriatric care managers and dozens of other resources. Park Place also invites you to rely on our expertise. Contact us online now, or call Park Place Health & Wellness Center at 630-936-4100 to schedule a private consultation with one of our health care experts. We’re here when you need us.