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Many people view the New Year as a fresh start. A time for change and doing things differently. It can be a wonderful opportunity to review what is going well – or not so well – across all areas of life. While you’re doing this in your own life, help your aging parent to do it in theirs as well.

Take the time to review current plans that are in place. Has anything changed? Do you need to update healthcare directives or a power of attorney? Are medication lists and emergency contact information up to date? Go over all of your files for your aging parent and see if changes need to be made.

Visit your senior at home and see how in-home care is working out for them. Could they benefit from more frequent or longer visits? Are there additional tasks they need help with? Or, if they are living on their own and don’t have support, could it be time to hire an in-home caregiver? Consider their current abilities and future needs. Putting the right supports in place now can make transitions easier and give you peace of mind that they’re getting the help they need when they need it.

Ask your loved one what they want for the future. If you sense they may be getting lonely or becoming isolated, scope out some opportunities for socialization such as senior centers or community activities. Ask them what some things they’d like to do are, whether that’s trying a new hobby, joining a book club, or going on more day trips. It’s important for seniors to stay physically and mentally active and socialize with others.

Look for new resources if there are areas for improvement. For instance, if managing finances is becoming more difficult, talk to a financial planner. If your aging parent shouldn’t be driving anymore, find alternative transportation options. It’s a great idea to keep an ongoing list of available resources even if you don’t need them quite yet; you never know when you might.

Celebrate achievements and enjoy your time together. The start of a new year means another one has come and gone. Appreciate the time you have with your loved one and make it count. Do whatever you can to help them live each day to the fullest. Always Best Care provides a wide range of non-medical services that can support your loved one with day-to-day activities and keep them involved in the things they enjoy.

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