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If you went home to visit family over the holidays, you may have noticed a change in your parents’ mental or physical condition. Perhaps your mother is more forgetful, or maybe your dad’s balance has deteriorated. You might not be sure if your loved one needs help, but you suspect that something isn’t right. How can you tell whether the changes are simply a part of aging or if they’re a sign of something more serious?
Sharon Aye, a Business Supervisor for VNSNY’s Customer Care Center, says she and her colleagues notice an increase in calls from concerned adult children after the holidays. “When you don’t see loved ones for a while, changes can be scary. People are often fearful and want basic information. We listen to the situation, and then try to explore every aspect.”
The first step, Aye says, is to determine if your parent needs medical care. “We go through the services we offer and we try to determine whether a parent needs custodial care or if there’s a need for skilled care. If there’s a medical need, we encourage callers to contact their parent’s doctor as well.”
When finances are a concern, the Customer Care Center can explain basic insurance guidelines. “We might also suggest that callers explore other resources. Our affiliate, Partners in Care, offers Geriatric Care Management, enlisting a social worker who can visit the home to discuss issues with the family. We can also refer callers to community resources.
“Holidays are emotional, and deteriorating parents can add to the emotional toll. Our goal at VNSNY Customer Care is to provide people with support. By listening, we can help to relieve the fear and alleviate the stress. That’s what we really deal with—the stress.”
To find out how VNSNY can help you care for your family member, please call 1-800-675-0391.