The Greater Cleveland Unit of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers Announces Red Flags to Watch for During Holiday Visits with Aging Parents

Cleveland, OH, December 05, 2014 --( When families live far away from one another, the holidays may be the only opportunity that long-distance caregivers and family members have to personally observe older relatives. Age-related decline can happen quickly. Family members who haven't visited a loved one recently may be surprised at what they see; a formerly healthy active father starting to look frail and tired, or a mom who always looked well kept, like her home, looks worn out and disheveled.

15% of the estimated 34 million Americans who provide care to older adults live more than an a hour away from their relatives according to a study by the National Alliance of Care giving and AARP.

The upcoming holidays may open distant family members eyes. The need to take action to ensure safety, good health and wellness may be necessary. A certified geriatric care manager can assess and make a care plan to prevent the older adult form an unnecessary nursing home placement. Geriatric care managers (GCMs) know the questions to ask and red flags to watch for when visiting aging family members over the holidays. Geriatric care managers assist with assessments of aging family members and recommend appropriate options in the event that intervention is needed.

What are some Red Flags?
1. Weight Loss- It could be serious or it may be related to lack of energy to prepare a meal. It may be due to medication changes by the physician.
2. Balance- It may be due to joint pain or something more serious. This puts the senior at high risk for falls.
3. Behavioral Change- It may be due to depression or a urinary tract infection.
4. Environmental Changes in the Home- The home is not kept as previous. You may notice spoiled food in refrigerator. Mom or Dad appears to be wearing the same clothes daily. The laundry is piling up. The stove is being left on. Pans are found scorched. The police are being called to the home frequently. Bills are not being paid.

Geriatric care managers are specialized health & human service professionals advocating and directing the care of older adults and others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, their expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress, and time off of work for family caregivers.

Should this years holiday open your eyes to concern then it is time to put a plan of action in place. The National Association of Geriatric Care Managers has certified geriatric care managers throughout the country that will assist families in developing and monitoring the older adult to promote wellness and overall good health. Please contact Bridget Ritossa if you have questions or if you wish to receive additional information about questions to ask aging parents over the holidays.

Bridget Ritossa, a resident in the Greater Cleveland Area since 1969, has been a geriatric care manager for 27years and focuses her practice on keeping seniors healthy and well in their homes. Ritossa is an active member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM).

Member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). To find a geriatric care manager near you go to

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families. Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist older adults who wish to remain in their homes, or can help families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs.

Contact: Bridget M. Ritossa
Member of The NAPGCM
Careplan Geriatric Care Managers
Beachwood, Ohio 44122
(440) 476-9534
Careplan Geriatric Care Managers
Bridget Ritossa