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Nursing Homes expect a flurry of ‘distress calls’ cover Christmas Period

Nursing homes can expect a flurry of “distress calls” over the Christmas period as many families try to come to terms with the increasing frailty and loss of independence of older family members.Heather Hill, Managing Director of Heather Hill Pathways, says, “When families get together at Christmas, often it’s the first occasion in some time that younger family members have spent an extended period with mum or dad or an older family member.”

“Families may notice that mum and dad aren’t really coping. Perhaps they notice some recurrent tell-tale signs that may indicate there’s a problem”.

For family members worried about what they’re seeing in their elderly parents over Christmas, Heather recommends they ask themselves a few simple questions.  She says incidents in isolation might not indicate a problem but a recurrence of some tell-tale signs may mean it’s time for a family meeting.

  • Are the bills being paid on time or are they piling up unpaid or unopened?
  • Is the house looking untidy when previously the parent was on top of things?
  • Are there pots and pans that show burn marks, a clear sign they have been left on the stove and forgotten?
  • Are medications being lost, doses missed or scripts going unfilled?
  • Have parents lost interest in preparing or eating meals?
  • Is a parent asking the same question over and over again?

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