HARRISBURG – Holiday visits provide an important opportunity for Pennsylvanians to ensure the safety and well being of older friends and family members, according to Secretary of Aging Nora Dowd Eisenhower.
“The holidays are a great time to discreetly take notice whether older parents, relatives or friends are able to manage their daily affairs and are prepared for the cold winter months ahead,” said Eisenhower. “By tactfully showing your concern, you may be able to start a productive conversation about how to cope with the challenges of aging, as well as your loved one’s changing needs.””
Eisenhower suggested paying attention to whether the older person has experienced a change in their health condition, memory or ability to understand, living conditions or finances.
Ask the older person if they are having any trouble with household chores or other tasks of daily living, such as managing their medications. Also, make sure they have nearby relatives or friends who can help them in an emergency. In addition, be alert to any possible safety hazards or maintenance problems around their home.
Eisenhower noted that while it is essential to pay attention to an older adult’s physical, mental, environmental and financial situation, it is equally important to respect their need for privacy and desire for independence.
A broad range of home and community-based services are available to assist older Pennsylvanians who may face challenges that could limit their ability to live independently. For more information, contact one of Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging.
For information on long-term living services and other resources, contact Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care helpline at 866-286-3636.