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Senior care options

Posted January 21, 2015 in Advice Column, Waukee

You made it through the holidays, but your recent visit home left you with an unsettled feeling.  Maybe you noticed mom looks thinner than you remember from last visit…a little too thin.  Perhaps what had once been the most immaculate home on the block now suffers from clutter and neglect.  You noticed a little forgetfulness over the past few months of phone conversations, but after visiting you wonder if it isn’t as benign as you had believed initially…

The coup de grace?  It is also winter time in Iowa, fraught with its own buffet of dangers for your aging loved ones.

I can almost hear the whirring sound of thoughts in your head—a tornado of worry.

The reality is that we are all getting older. Not one of us is escaping that reality.  The other reality is that at some point during our aging process we will all need support to stay safe, be it winter, spring, summer or fall.  The good news is that the menu of senior care options is constantly growing and  evolving so the chances of finding an option that is perfect for your family is very good.  If nutrition is an issue, for example, consider weighing the benefit of having meals delivered to the home or paying a professional caregiver to prepare meals while also putting an extra set of eyes and ears into mom’s home to check for general safety.   Do you worry about how mom will get to the grocery store or medical appointments safely with all of the ice and snow adding danger to an already unsteady gait?  Transportation options can include both public, senior friendly busses which are very economical or door to door service with a friendly companion that can give mom a steady arm to hold onto while crossing that icy parking lot.

Whatever the issue is, there seems to be an existing solution to help calm those nagging thoughts…but how do you know what these options are and which are best for your family?

The best place to start is by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging.  These local agencies exist to help connect seniors and their caregivers with community resources that can help your loved one stay safe in whatever environment they choose.

To find the AAA that services the county in which your aging loved lives, you can visit the national AAA website at

Information provided by Amy Alden, general manager, Home Instead Senior Care, Waukee, 978-791.

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