Senior Health and the Holidays: Finding Peace of Mind
Planning to visit Mom and Dad to celebrate the holiday season? As our loved ones get older, they may face challenges with the essential activities of daily living. And it’s quite common for those who visit parents or other aging relatives to notice worrying signs of unsafe conditions.
But how do you know what to look for – and how do you start the conversation around senior care with your loved one? Read this blog to learn what to keep an eye on, along with helpful tips to make communication a little easier.
Five Signals of Safety and Health
No single factor can tell the whole story of a person’s health – especially not someone you know as well as an aunt, uncle or parent. The most important thing to look for is a negative change from their usual baseline of behavior. Use your best judgment when looking for these signals of safety and health.
- Fitness. Does your loved one seem to have more trouble getting around their home – traversing stairs, navigating hallways and avoiding hard corners? Are there signs of recent falls? Any changes in weight or appearance? New household clutter or uncleanliness can also demonstrate difficulty managing daily tasks.
- Conversation. Does your loved one answer as quickly, directly and intelligibly as they used to? Do they confuse times, people and places? Tell the same story again and again? Some change is expected as a normal part of getting older – but it can be a sign that more help is needed.
- Social life. Are they keeping up with friends? How about pursing their hobbies, staying involved in clubs or other outside obligations, or attending church? Here, you’re looking for any sign of withdrawal from social ties they’ve kept for a long time.
- Organization. Is your loved one staying on top of life’s demands, like paying bills and answering mail? Is the refrigerator free from spoiled food? Is the kitchen being kept in safe, sanitary condition? Are smoke detectors intact and functional?
- Mood. Whether it’s from seasonal affective disorder or living alone, older adults can frequently feel sad or lonely – something that community living can improve by offering easy access to friends and great outdoors spaces to get fresh air.
These are just a few examples of changes you should look for – the key is looking for noticeable differences in behavior that might indicate that your loved one is struggling with daily tasks.
What Care Meets Their Needs?
When it comes to support for older adults that maximizes their freedom while providing the support they need and deserve, you can’t beat assisted living. Why? Well, when it’s done right, assisted living can actually offer more independence than living at home. By providing a customized plan of support for your loved one, it can remove obstacles caused by issues like poor mobility.
That’s without even mentioning the many creature comforts and enticing amenities that exist in communities around the country. If you find yourself in need of a temporary caregiver, remember that many of these communities offer short-stay respite care as well.
Discussing Senior Care
Talking about senior care is never easy – especially when moving is part of the discussion. These three tips can make the conversation easier.
- Take your time. You don’t need to get to a “yes” in one day. Try approaching the issue gently, and don’t push for a fast decision. You might even avoid the words “senior living” at the start, opting instead to simply express your concerns about safety in their current home.
- Involve other loved ones. You don’t want to take anyone by surprise. Get the whole family in on the discussion. They can help you approach your loved one when it’s time to talk about care.
- Ask for their opinion. Whether it’s your mom and dad or another loved one, their opinion and their experience matters. Do the research and bring them all the best options – then give them the time and space to choose what’s right for them.
Learn How We Can Help
From our team to your family, we wish you a happy holiday season. Whether you or a loved one lives at our community, we want to be a resource you can trust. Contact us for a free assessment and find out about our move-in specials, too.