VALLEY NURSE RECOMMENDS CHECKING RELATIVE

by Christian Mower on November 23, 2011

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL HOME CARE MONTH – AND THE EXEC. DIRECTOR OF VISITING NURSE AND HOSPICE CARE SERVICES OF NORTHERN CARROLL COUNTY SAYS THE HOLIDAYS ARE A GOOD TIME TO ASSESS A FAMILY MEMBER’S NEED FOR HELP IN THE HOME.

SANDY RUKA – A REGISTERED NURSE – SAYS SEASONAL GET-TOGETHERS ARE A TIME OF HEIGHTENED AWARENESS AND A TIME TO NOTICE IF OLDER RELATIVES ARE HAVING MORE DIFFICULTY WITH THEIR DAILY LIVES.

RUKA SAYS LOVED ONES CAN HIDE MANY OF THEIR PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID OF WHAT’S HAPPENING – AND OF LOSING THEIR INDEPENDENCE.

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE DECLINE IN PERSONAL HYGIENE – CHANGES IN HOUSEKEEPING, SLEEPING OR EATING HABITS – UNPAID BILLS OR UNOPENED MAIL – AND MEMORY LOSS OR SIGNS OF DEPRESSION.

RUKA SAYS YOU CAN CALL A LOCAL HOME HELP AGENCY, AND THE CHANGES FOR A RELATIVE MIGHT RANGE FROM SMALL AMOUNTS OF SERVICE UP TO DAILY CARE SERVICES.

RUKA ALSO RECOMMENDS DOING A WALK THROUGH OF YOUR HOME TO REDUCE RISKS FOR VISITING OLDER FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THIS COULD INCLUDE CLEARING CLUTTER THAT COULD BE A TRIP HAZARD, MAKING SURE LIGHTS ARE ON IN OUTDOOR WALKWAYS – AND PLACING A NON-SKID MAT IN THE BATH TUB.

RUKA ENCOURAGES ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS TO CALL HER NON-PROFIT AGENCY (AFFILIATED WITH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN NORTH CONWAY), AT (603) 367-8135. OTHER IDEAS AND TIPS CAN BE FOUND ON THE WEBSITE AT www.vnsncc.org.