Amid the meals and visiting, holiday gatherings are a good time to assess how your elderly parents are functioning in their day to day life. Since you may see your parent(s) more often during this time of year it can be a helpful way to track concerns over several different interactions and come up with a plan to keep them safe.
At your first holiday gathering, such as Thanksgiving, did you notice anything concerning?
Some common signs to look for that may indicate your aging loved one might need some extra help. These can include:
Change in Behavior
- Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
- Missing important appointments and birthdays of close friends and family
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
- Forgetting to take medications – or taking more than the prescribed dosage
Changes with Appearance
- Unexplained bruising
- Trouble getting up from a seated position
- Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
- Unpleasant body odor
- Infrequent showering and bathing
- Noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care
- Poor diet or weight loss
Changes at Home
- Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away
- Strong smell of urine in the house
- Dirty house, clutter and dirty laundry piling up
- Stacks of unopened mail or an overflowing mailbox
- Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from bill collectors
- Unexplained dents and scratches on a car
Resist the temptation to mention your findings right away, especially at the table of your special meal. Instead, hold off and use the time in between gatherings to speak to other concerned family members and to research available senior care options.
Enlisting the help of a Geriatric Care Manager can make this process much smoother and not so time consuming. Geriatric Care Managers provide a full view of all senior care options available and will assist you in communicating your concerns to your aging loved one.
Care Assist Solutions offers a complimentary consultation and assessment to help you devise a unique care plan based on your aging parent’s needs. We offer a full-service approach to senior care, by offering in-home companion care, geriatric care management services, and senior living locator services.