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The Checklist You Need to Assess Senior Care Needs Over the Holidays


It has been several months since you’ve had the opportunity for a nice, long visit with Mom. Now that the holidays are here, you’ll have some uninterrupted time to catch up. Naturally, you’ll want to make the most of this time with each other, but it’s also a great time to evaluate how she is really doing, and if there are any changes in her health or other senior care needs that may have gone unnoticed through phone calls and FaceTime.

To help you determine areas of possible concern to assess, we’ve put together a list of questions to answer. You may wish to ask some of these questions to the senior directly, while others can be answered by noticing the home environment and the senior herself.

Physical/Mental Health

  • Is she spending time with friends?

  • Has she gained or lost weight?

  • Does she seem short of breath?

  • Is she having trouble falling or staying asleep?

  • Do you notice any bruises or other injuries that could indicate a fall?

  • Is she actively engaged in enjoyable activities?

  • Does she seem happy and content?

  • Is she eating more or less than usual?

  • Does the senior seem to be moving more slowly and cautiously?

  • Is she stumbling or holding onto furniture or the wall to get around?

Cognitive Functioning

  • Is she repeating questions or statements in conversations?

  • Does the senior seem more forgetful or confused than usual?

  • Is she misplacing items, only to find them in unexpected places, such as the car keys in the refrigerator?

  • Are there pieces of mail and bills that have not been opened?

  • Is she struggling to remember the names of familiar people or objects?

  • Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?

Elder/Financial Abuse

  • Does she suddenly have a new “friendship” with someone whose motives may be questionable?

  • Has she cosigned for a loan for anyone?

  • Has she provided anyone with personal information over the phone or internet?

  • Does the senior seem more timid or anxious than usual?

  • Are there any changes in her banking activity?

  • Is she communicating with strangers online?

Home Maintenance

  • Is the home cleaned to the senior’s typical standards?

  • Are there any hazards you’re noticing, such as scorch marks on pans or the countertop that could indicate inattention to cooking?

  • Are the bed linens being changed regularly?

  • Is the laundry clean and put away?

  • Is there clutter in the home that could pose a fall risk?

  • Is the yard maintained?

If you have any concerns about a senior’s safety or well-being, no matter how small, home care can help. Contact The Care Company’s experts in home care for seniors in Toronto & the surrounding areas, at (416) 422-2273 for more information.

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