Do you need a wake-up call?
Posted December 10th, 2010 by Sue Sullivan

Your loved one is no longer able to live alone at home. Do you need a wake up call? Just off the phone with a family member who believes her dad is still independent, “doing just fine”. Yet this dad forgets to take his meds. When his daughter calls daily to check on his meds he replies “yes I took them”. But then our visiting Home Health Aide finds pills spilled on the floor and sometimes the pills missing from another day. Dad is confused. And yet when his child calls to chat he wants to report he is fine.

At times he thinks we have taken his watch only to find it later in his sweater pocket or on the floor next to a chair. Anyone can misplace an item but now it is happening more often than not. Some days he is very confused and sleepy. Some days he is bright and connected to time and place and happenings.

What do we do? It is not time to get defensive, rather time to bring your team of caregivers in to develop a plan to help add support in those areas in order for your loved one to stay at home with safety and assistance. If you are in touch with your loved one’s doctor and all other systems are fine maybe this is a natural progression, but maybe not. Adding a short second visit later in the day just to say hi (and check to see he has eaten his meal), will give this visitor an opportunity to strengthen the security around him and yet allow him to continue to live at home. Some people would disagree and proclaim he should be in skilled care and others demand he be allowed to stay put.

Join the discussion. Your point of view will help us better understand our position and the debate will help all of us think this through when it occurs in our families. Let’s chat.

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