4 Steps to Compassionate Care for Seniors

Paying closer attention to your aging parents’ mental health does not have to wait until a call from the emergency room. Pneumonia and falls are the largest killers for the elderly. Here are four practical steps that will help you and your parents reduce some of the difficulties that accompany the challenges of dementia.

One: A medical assessment from a neurologist can detect the early warning signs of dementia. If you notice a significant change in your loved ones mental status, seek medical attention to rule out UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), pneumonia or numerous other conditions that the doctor would want to examine. The doctor will check for urinary track infections because they are known to cause sudden behavior changes and the inability to complete familiar tasks.

Two: If your loved one is safe to remain in the home setting, organize a support team and implement an alert system to provide immediate attention to the safety and health needs of your aging parents. It takes a team of available compassionate individuals to provide effective care for seniors. Many resources are available for in home support, as well as Residential Care options.

Three: Carefully inspect your parents’ home in order to make it as hazard-free as possible. A fall management plan is critical for the elderly. Remove throw rugs, provide better lighting for hallways and stairs, and check for anything in the home that might further inhibit visual and hearing abilities. Have your parents’ pharmacy conduct an evaluation to ensure proper administration, polypharmacy risks, and fall risk associated with particular medication combinations of their medications.

Four: Plan ahead! Consider the many long-term options necessary for the care, safety and well being of your aging parents. Professional advisors and case managers are available to establish a plan that features on-going health assessments, financial resources and protection against scams targeting seniors. Preparing for the gradual effects of dementia and other safety/health concerns for seniors is the best practice to minimize stress for you and your parents.

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Reader Comments (1)

Excellent tips, thanks for sharing. My colleague's mother is 95 years old and despite exhibiting the symptoms of advanced Alzheimer's disease, my colleague goes to see her every Saturday rain or shine in the nursing home where she resides in San Francisco. Her mother is sadley, unable to recognize her (an effect of Alzheimer's), but my loyal colleague swears the company and interaction helps to charge her up and improve her mood. My colleague knows that the time spent together (even if from her mother's perspective, they are perfect stragers) is key!

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErica Afshar
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