Visiting with elderly family members during the holidays can be satisfying and fun, but more and more adult children of older seniors find themselves faced with what’s known as the “holiday reality check,” this time of year. With busy schedules or long distances separating families from their elderly loved ones for much of the year, subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) signs that the senior may be in need of help to keep the home clean or keep themselves groomed and bathed can easily be missed.
This year, make holiday visits a time to re-evaluate the needs of elderly relatives, and consider encouraging the senior to get in-home care solutions that will enhance their quality of life and help ensure their continued safety at home–long after the holidays are over and the senior family member is once again by themselves. Remember that checking for warning signs is not for the purposes of judgment or criticism; it’s a reality check on the senior’s wellness, well-being and safety.
Some warning signs to look for when visiting with an older loved one include:
An unkempt home
A change in eating habits
Unexplained weight loss
Changes in hygiene or grooming
Decreased mobility or trouble walking
General personality changes, such as confusion or agitation
These signs may indicate a need for some extra assistance in the home. Take some time to openly discuss your concerns with your loved one while everyone is together this holiday season. Having friends and family around for support during this time can make the conversation easier, and having the conversation in person as opposed to over the phone will allow your loved one to hear your concerns and more easily express his or her preferences for current or future care decisions.
If you have questions about how start in-home care for your loved one or are interested in what services might be available for your family member, contact usonline or call us at (208) 777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden areas; (208) 263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or (208) 784-1505 in the Kellogg, Wallace or Pinehurst areas.