Contacting your elderly relatives

Hello everyone:

When my great aunt was still alive, she and her friends agreed that they would call each other twice a day, to make sure that everyone was still alive and well. This worked like a champ and kept everyone aware of the others’ well-being. One by one, however, the ladies died; my aunt stopped her involvement in the group when she was put in a nursing home three months prior to her death.

My mother died two years ago and my dad, who was not involved in any outside groups, did not have anyone with whom he was in contact on a regular basis. My sister-in-law told us the story of her friend who lay in the shower for three days, after having slipped getting out of the shower, and we made the decision that Dad had to be called or seen every day. This has worked out well and I highly recommend you do this for any elderly relatives you have.

If you are the elderly person, you may wish to set something like this up, or you may want to get one of those “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” services. The important thing here is that, if you live alone, someone needs to know you aren’t pushing up daisies! Think of it this way: how long would you want to lay on the floor or in need of help? Keep this in mind and make the arrangements to be checked on before you need it!

You can also be a help to someone who lives alone. If you notice that someone does not keep his or her regular schedule of activities, you should call or go over to check on him or her.  I understand that a pizza store realized that a regular customer had not called for a meal in 11 days. They went to check on the man and found him seriously in need of help. They called 911 and the man’s life was saved because someone noticed that they hadn’t seen him.  Food for thought.

Best,

Sheri

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