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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Holmes for the Holiday /  Editorial List

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Holmes for the Holiday

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For those long distance caregivers who are going home to visit your caregiving loved ones, may I be so bold as to offer a few suggestions.
Although it would be a bit inappropriate to walk into your loved one’s home with an old trench coat, large magnifying glass in hand and sporting a Sherlock Holmes Deerstalker hat, nevertheless, my dear Watson, you are on a case—the case I call “The Holiday Visit of the Caregiver Detective.” (Cue organ crescendo.)
When there, you need to be inquisitive without becoming an inquisitor, but you might want to take some time to look around the home for safety issues including the following:

  • Stairs
    Is there damaged or loose carpet on the stairway?
    Is the stairway well lit?
    Are there any loose banisters?
    Is there any way to rearrange the home setting to reduce or even cancel the need for your loved one to walk upstairs?

  • Bathrooms
    Most emergency room visits from senior citizens occur due to falls in the bathroom.
    Are there throw rugs on the floor without proper backing?
    Are there grab rails where needed? (A towel rack will do no good in a fall.)
    Is there proper seating in the shower?

Peek into the medicine cabinets and refrigerator for old medicines or foods.

Hold Caregiver Board of Director meetings with your fellow family members who will also be visiting.

Create a holiday care plan for your caregiving loved one so he or she can get out of the house to take some time for themselves while you are there.


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