December 22, 2009

Guest Post from Senior Care Consultants

As many of you know, I am a social worker, and my preferred field is work with older adults.  I receive a newsletter from Senior Care Consultants, a local geriatric care management program.  I found the article below quite interesting, and I thought my readers might benefit from seeing it.  I contacted Brenda Southerland for permission to post it here.  I asked her to include the first paragraph, telling local readers more about the program and how to contact them if their services might be needed.  Thank you Brenda!

Senior Care Consultants, Inc.  (SCC) is a geriatric care management company that has been serving seniors and their families in the Knoxville area for over 10 years.  Geriatric care management services consist of  assessment of the older adult in their environment to determine needs and wants related to long term care services, followed by development and implementation of a care plan based on those identified needs and wants.  SCC also offers consultation, long term care placement, daily money management, and serves as an agent under power of attorney for health care and/or finances.  SCC offers the senior a one stop shop for local community resources, and offers the family a peace of mind.  To learn more about SCC, go to the website www.seniorcareonline.net or call 865-579-5886.  SCC currently has a promotional offer which consists of one hour of free in-office consultation, with no obligation to purchase additional services.

What to Look for During Holiday Visits with Older RelativesBrenda Southerland

For many of us, the holidays offer a once-a-year time to visit with older relatives who live at a distance.  It offers a valuable opportunity to assess what assistance loved ones need, and any changes in cognitive and/or physical functioning that has occurred during the past year.   Often times, these changes are not detected during phone calls, but become evident once the older adult is visited in the home.  These changes may be even more obvious since you have not seen them in such a long period of time.  Thus, you may detect changes or decline in the senior's functioning that those who see them on a regular basis may miss.  The following are a few areas to assess:

  • Look for signs of self neglect such as poor hygiene or weight loss
  • Isolation has increased and senior no longer appears to be as active as previously  
  • Bills are unpaid and services are disconnected
  • Increased confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Depression and/or anxiety 
  • Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse 
  • Concerns expressed by neighbors, family, or church members
  • Senior seems to be experiencing increased difficulty performing activities of daily living

As a concerned family member who lives at a distance, it can be an overwhelming experience to note concerns regarding your older relative.  However, there are some ways you can help:

  • If possible, schedule another visit soon so you can investigate local community resources to help with activities of daily living and provide needed support
  • Schedule an appointment with the older adult's physician so treatable causes of the problems can be addressed
  • If problems are severe and threatened the safety of the senior, contact Adult Protective Services at 1-888-277-8366
Hire a geriatric care manager.  This professional can serve as your eyes and ears locally, assess for needs, develop a care plan, and keep you updated.  To contact SCC, Inc for a home assessment, contact us by phone at 865-579-5886 or by email sencare@bellsouth.net.  

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