WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR ...

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - Healthy living -

Talk to your el­derly loved one and as­sure them they can re­main in­de­pen­dent, but it may be time to ac­cept some sup­port. An as­sess­ment can help solve prob­lems, re­sult­ing in fewer ac­ci­dents and ill­nesses, and im­proved qual­ity of life. If you’re wor­ried about your el­derly rel­a­tive and are con­sid­er­ing ask­ing for a needs as­sess­ment, go through the fol­low­ing check­list to help with the de­ci­sion.

Phys­i­cal health

Has an el­derly fam­ily mem­ber been di­ag­nosed with any chronic dis­eases such as di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure, arthri­tis or em­phy­sema? What about bowel or blad­der prob­lems, heart dis­ease, stroke, or can­cer? Do they have vi­sion or hear­ing prob­lems, ex­ces­sive weight loss or gain, or dif­fi­culty walk­ing? Make a list of health pro­fes­sion­als they cur­rently see and add any re­cent hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions.

Men­tal health

Has the per­son been di­ag­nosed with any men­tal health dis­or­ders, such as de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or psy­chosis? Is there a di­ag­no­sis of Alzheimer’s or an­other form of de­men­tia? Is the per­son show­ing signs of con­fu­sion, dis­ori­en­ta­tion or iso­la­tion? What about mood swings, for­get­ful­ness, sad­ness or lone­li­ness?

Med­i­ca­tion use

What med­i­ca­tions are they cur­rently tak­ing? What is the dosage? Are they tak­ing their med­i­ca­tion as di­rected? In­clude over-the-counter med­i­ca­tions.

Daily liv­ing skills

Is your fam­ily mem­ber able to dress, bathe, get up from a chair, use the toi­let, climb stairs and use the phone? Can the per­son call for help in an emer­gency? Are they able to shop, pre­pare meals, do house­work and gar­den? Can they drive safely?

Home and com­mu­nity safety

How safe is the per­son’s neigh­bour­hood? Is the home equipped with smoke alarms and can they hear them? Would they be able to avoid phone and door-to-door fraud? Can they main­tain their prop­erty with­out help?

Sup­port sys­tems

Does the el­derly rel­a­tive have fre­quent vis­i­tors or see friends? Do they par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­nity and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties or get out of the house to pur­sue in­ter­ests? Do any other fam­ily mem­bers live close by? Does the aged per­son keep handy names, ad­dresses and phone num­bers of loved ones they can con­tact in an emer­gency?

Ap­pear­ance & hy­giene

How is the older per­son’s over­all ap­pear­ance? Has there been any change in their hy­giene?

Fi­nances

Can they live on their cur­rent in­come and will it meet their fu­ture needs? Do they pay bills on time and cope with fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion-mak­ing? Are all their le­gal doc­u­ments – trusts, wills and en­dur­ing pow­ers of at­tor­ney – up-to-date?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.