We want to do right by our loved ones, but this is also the time when families are coming together for holidays. Many of us may not have been around our elders for a while. What sorts of things are warning signs: what are serious things to think about and what are things that might not be an issue? Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements points out one thing that’s subtle is looking at the strength of their body. When they get up from a chair, do they need to use their arms? When they sit down, do they plop down or still have their core strength?
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements. Ll See and answers for elders radio. And Welcome to answers for elders radio, everyone, and I am here with the Wonderful Daphnee Davis from Pinnacle senior placements and we are here on holiday celebrations and Daphne, welcome back to the program thank you, thank you. You know, we’re getting ready to all celebrate a holiday season and obviously we want to be mindful of how can we do right by our our loved ones and but this is also the time when families are coming together and there’s a lot of things that you know, we all may not have been around. Mom or dad are elders for a while, and so the thing is, I guess my question for you is is the expert is what kind of things would be like yellow flags, morning flags of a senior loved one, as far as what should we think is a serious thing to think about and what are the things that you know may not be an issue? So it comes from two perspectives. It’s the family that sees mom at least weekly, let’s say weekly, your monthly, and you’re kind of real close to the forest. So don’t see a lot of changes all the time. And then there’s the family members that might come around for the holidays that haven’t seen mom or dad for like they might maybe they don’t live there. They got right, right, Yep, and so it’s from two different sets of ice that you can see that. But some key things to kind of watch for that are a little bit subtle is looking for the strength of the body. When someone stands up or sits down. Does it take a couple of times to rock out of that chair? Did they need the arms of the chair? That used to be able to just use their core muscles and get up? And when that person sits down, is it a PLOP or is it a controlled sit do they have the core strength still? Is it is it getting weaker for them? Is that something that, oh, we should kind of maybe pay attention to that, or or have mom do a little more exercises and make that if she’s already a person who likes to be physical, maybe just be more intentional about those suggestions about that. So that’s one thing that you could see just in terms of a subtle observation. When you haven’t been around for a while, there’ll be some things that you might notice, obviously of languaging patterns. Are there any changes in that? or His mom searching for words? Is She repeating herself? Does Dad have a roncus laugh now every time you ask a question because he doesn’t know how to answer it? That might be a clue that it didn’t laugh that much all the time. I mean right, answered a question. Yet I wonder what that’s about. It might be that you see someone of furniture walking or wall walking. You know, have to hang onto that wall all the time for stability. Big It is and it’s something that’s subtle and it’s not like warning. Warning is just an awareness, you know, that says, Oh, maybe we should implement some kind of assisted aid, which I believe when elder’s embrace assistance they’ll have independence longer. So if you’re listening, don’t fight the assistance. Walkers, canes, those kinds of things are going to help you keep your independence and absolutely and they’re hard to talk about for the independent person. From a child’s perspective, you know, to say, mom, I think you need something to help you walk now, there’s got to be some grace and dignity in there, but those are the clues that you, as shamily members, can see. You might see a change in appetite. You know, that was favorite foods of my parents. They’re hardly eating anything. Or if you’re the person that’s visiting at their home and you, you know, just go and say, Oh, mom, I’m going to go get a bottle of water and as you’re looking in the bottled water refrigerator and you see everything else, you might see some leftovers that are pretty old or you might see some of the foods that you have brought, you know, prepared in the freezer and they’re still there. Might be an indicator that you need to pay at tension a little bit to nutrition and are they eating properly, right, right, and and really what are they craving to eat? I think that changes in you know, as I know, that a Palette with the senior you know, the last, the first flavor that we can sense as a when we’re born is sweet and the last flavor that lingers is sweet. Yep, it is. So what you’re going to find is is, as you know, as we age. You know, what are they eating? Are they eating more sweets, because that’s very common. I what it from what I understand Yep, it is. It is. It’s the last sense that goes if there’s a disease process that affect your senses right. Sometimes that’s a really good indicator. Water intake, fluids, huge dehydration is such a problem, and it’s not just because you don”t have enough water. It, in our elders, affects a lot of systems in our bodies. When you’re younger, your body can kind of go with the flow a little bit. But I don’t know where that magic age is, but there’s an age when one I think your fluid. I think the main thing with water is, I always think in my head is that you know, when we food, not to get really graphic on the radio here, but but that goes through your digestive system and it’s in your stomach and it putrefies right, so you’re got rotten food basically going through you and that, if that’s not flushed out, it’s toxic. It is. It’s toxic to your system and it can cause mobility issues. It can call it cause soar muscles, it can cause headaches, it can cause all different types of aspects of you know, if you’re not drinking enough water or fluids or anything like that. And I know for me I’m not a water drinker. So I try to eat rough water rich foods as much as possible, which is helpful. Okay, but I also, you know, every night before bed I always drink a full glass of water. Is just, you know, trying to do what I can to make sure that I do that. And those are things I think that we can always think about, just the whole hydration process. And I can tell, like in my skin, if I haven’t drink enough water. I can start to see like a maybe a breakout on my skin. I can start to feel a key with my muscles. That’s dehydration. Yep, that moves quickly into inflammation, and so there’s lots of causes for inflammation, but these are a general overall. When you hear your loved one saying I just don’t feel good, I just might be water. You know, there’s just three things to think about. Water, food and their medications, making sure that those are consistent. Yes, you know, those are pretty easy things. Most important, though, as you’re getting together with family right now, I mean pay attention to these little yellow flags, as you called them, but also just enjoy the person. Yeah, please, don’t pounce on them. Please don’t say, Oh, mom, I’m seeing all these changes. Very true. Just just keep them to yourself and maybe have conversation with another family member that says, have you noticed? Oh, you know, she was a little off today, or yeah, Dad was just I don’t know, he’s kind of cranky. He’s normally not cranky. Check Yourself. I mean sometimes when that person comes in from afar, it’s unnerving, right, to see the changes of your parents. Some of it’s just natural aging process, absolutely, and being that and just being I think the thing is is that, you know, when we’ve talked about that, another thing I look at to is with my mom. I couldn’t believe all the Times that she, you know, she had papers all of a suon starting to stack up more than she used to, you know, every before, and I thought that was an interesting thing that I’d never really seen, you know, as far as wow with what is this? And then, you know, as we started to, you know, move her out of her house, she had like cash socked away in different places. You know, that was never my mom, but it’s that fear factor. It’s that what if I, you know, all of a sudden I started to see that a murder with my parent? I mean, it’s that something they’re think about? Yeah, when you become more dependent on other people in not in big ways, movement, getting your food into your house, paying your bills, getting the mail from the mailbox, shoveling snow, whatever it is, when you’re dependent physically, that can really mess with your head sometimes, I mean and you start to compensate, right or hide things or not talk about subjects. That’s where subjects become hard, is when someone wants to keep their their dignity, and so we, as family members, it’s our responsibility to be able to have those conversations that uphold the dignity and not be accusatory, not push somebody into their corner. Sure, but just say. You know, for me when this happens, sometimes I’m really stressed out when I can’t get through my mail. I am just stressed out. I see this pile of mail. Is there any chance that you’re stressing about something, mom? Yeah, you know, just be lighthearted. The other thing too, is you know there’s might be some fear of not having enough money to pay them the now, especially in the winter time. You know, eating bills can come and on a fixed income or something like that. So being a little bit more mindful of how can you be there more for your parent and just be more supportive? That’s maybe it’s right. Maybe it’s just grabbing that electric bill and just, without saying anything, just paying it. Yeah, just just take care of it. It depends upon, obviously, the cognition in the independence of your parents, right, but to be mindful and intentional and with love and compassion in your voice and in your intentions talk about things. I am a person who uses preambles before I I say what I need, really need to say. I’m going to say. You know, mom, just hear my heart or this is hard for me to say important. I really don’t want to have to talk about this, but mom, I want the best for you. Can we have a conversation about the bills, you know, can I help you with them? I know you can do them, but I don’t want them to cause you stress. Right, you know, you can still pay your bills, you can write a check, but would it be helpful if I helped you with it? Would it allow for more space in your head to think about the joyous things in life? You know? Yeah, put it in a context. That you can still do it so important. But I really want to just give you more joy in your life, and so, Daphne, bring enjoyed families, obviously for you. We have about a minute and a half left on the show and you know you guys work with making transitions easy and so, in in a nutshell, what do you do and how can we reach you? So first of all, you can reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, three four fifteen hundred or my website at Pinnacle Senior Placementscom. And what we do is we help facilitate conversations, we help in terms up being an information post that you can know what all your options are for the given situation of your family. We have no fee for our services at all. I’m paid like a realator. One time commit commission from communities of care and I work with all communities of care. So from my perspective, there’s no downside to having a conversation with anyone from pinnacle and it’s never too early to have that conversation. It isn’t be proactive and not being crisis. We talk about everything from in home care to making modifications to your home so that you can stay there it might be something as simple as picking up the throw rugs, yeah, to eliminate the full risk, or throwing and grab bar in the bathroom something like it could be very simply, absolutely and it can be as big as saying, you know what, we want to maximize the buying power of your family’s estate and we want to do x y z outside of the hall. Right. So we have all those conversations. We’re not decision makers, we are listeners. And when do we give information? Well, marry Christmas to you and yours. Thank and we look forward to having you back again next month. Sounds good. Thanks so much. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placementscom.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.