We are well on our way into the year 2014. The holidays are behind us, and now it is time to get back to our daily lives. Did you notice any changes in your Elder loved ones during the holidays? We tend to spend more time with our elder parents during this time of the year, and it is a good time to look for the tell tale signs that Mom or Dad might need a little help with their daily tasks.

• Is their living area neat and tidy?

• Is the mail piling up?

• Is the food in the fridge fresh?

• Is the pantry well stocked?

• Are the linens and towels clean?

• Can they handle their medications on their own?

• Are pets being cared for properly?

• Do they need help with their finances?

• Do they need incontinence supplies?

My Dad is approaching is 85th year, and I am a family caregiver. If I did not fix his meals, I know he would not eat properly. Daily hygiene is becoming a challenge and takes constant reminders. These are the little things that unless you are with your loved one in their daily living, you are probably not going to see until it shows up in their health. I am blessed to be able to give my Dad a hug every night before he goes to bed. If you are not, there are affordable options that can make a big difference in the quality of life for an elder living on their own. Start by having an in-home caregiver visit for a few hours a week.

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