Making a trip home for the holidays is something most adult children look forward to. But for adult children of an aging loved one, the visit sometimes proves quite shocking when they realize an older parent they thought was managing well on their own really isn’t. Concerned adult children often aren’t sure if the changes they see in a parent are cause for alarm or a normal part of aging.
If you're making the trip home to visit the senior or seniors in your life this holiday season, these are six warning signs you can look for:
- Has there been a change in their personal appearance? Have they gained or lost weight without trying? Do you notice poor hygiene or disheveled clothing?
- How is their disposition? Have they dropped out of social groups or hobbies they have always enjoyed?
- Does their mental status seem to have declined? Are they able to answer questions? Do they ask you the same question multiple times?
- Have their sleep habits changed? Do you hear them roaming the halls during the night? Are they sleeping during the day?
- What condition is their house in? Are there overflowing trash cans? Are foods past the expiration date still in the refrigerator?
- Do they seem to be taking their medications appropriately?
A primary care physician should be the first stop if you answered YES to more than one of these questions. Early intervention is usually the key to slowing or reversing progression, if illness is the cause.
If you determine that your loved ones need more assistance than they can receive living alone, Heritage Senior Community staff members are experts in helping families identifying appropriate senior housing. With living options ranging from independent senior living to full-service assisted living, finding the right fit and transitioning residents into their new home is a seamless process.
Source: Heritage Senior Communities