Hi there! Bridget Mackay at the offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California. And, I wanted to talk to you today about the subject in our newsletter. Which is sort of, it’s the holiday season. Not that you’re spying on your elders but maybe it’s time while you’re visiting parents or elderly friends for the holidays that you don’t get to see very often. It might be time to take a closer look at how they’re living and if they’re doing OK and they’re handling things and taking care of things.

Let me give you some statistics. 10% of Americans over age 65 have Alzheimer’s dementia. That’s not very much, which is good because we don’t want it to be done young. But still, it’s 10%. 38% of Americans over age 85 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia. Three trillion dollars a year is the estimated loss of lifetime wages due to taking care of loved ones with dementia. And 63 is the average age of caregivers for people who are 75 and older, excuse me, 65 and older needing care and 75% of those caregivers are women.

There is some motivation to clue in and touch base with our elders that are in their 80s and maybe living on their own and making sure that they’re doing OK. Because earlier resolution or discovery of some of these cognitive issues is always better in terms of preparing for treating this, preparing to care for them and making sure the assets are available to do that.

So. here are some things I want you to look at when you’re visiting. And, this is not an exhaustive list or an exclusive list. But I just want to make clear that ignoring some of these signs is very dangerous. Not only for your elder but for you if you’re one of the primary people that care for them or are close to them.

First is check their self-care. So, are they appearing clean and bathed and are their clothes washed and do they match? And, are they on correctly? Check out their home if you end up being in their home. Is it picked up and tidy? I mean, oftentimes as people age it gets harder and harder to clean house but just be aware there’s no hoarding or dishes, piles of dishes left undone. I had one client who after a while could not reach up into the dish cabinet to replace washed dishes after being in a dishwasher. So, dishes were stacked on the counter in the kitchen some clean, some dirty.

Memory. Now little slips and memory are not a big deal we all have them. I’m talking slips that where they’re not clear on their finances or bills have been paid or what their activities had been that week or maybe even earlier that day. Those kind of memory losses. Take a close look if you can get finances or bills being paid or be are they being overpaid. And, driving. Check that too. Driving is a big issue for elders, it’s there one last link to independents typically. But, take a ride with your elder this holiday. Maybe go to the store with them. See how they do. And, be careful with telling yourself well they’re not great drivers but it’s ok because they just drive around town cause plenty of accidents can happen around town. In fact, statistically we get more accidents closer to our home than on the freeway.

Just a few tips while you’re enjoying your holiday season. I don’t mean for you to be eye-spying on everybody, but it’s something to keep in mind if you really care for your loved ones.

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