Holiday Review: Did you notice changes in your parents?
The holidays are over. The gifts are put away, tree has been taken down and you have returned home. It’s time to take a deep breath and relax, but one thing has you worried. ‘How is your mom doing back at home, alone? She seemed so forgetful and confused during our visit.’
As you celebrated with your parents or aging loved ones, you may have noticed signs that things have changed dramatically since your last visit. Did your dad have difficulty standing or was he unstable when he was walking. Did you notice your mom’s house was unkempt, dirty clothes piling up, and old food in the refrigerator? You may be concerned that they need help or wondering if your senior parent should be living alone.
“After the holidays, we receive an increase in inquiries about assisted living,” says Kathy Stewart, Vice President of Nursing at Aegis Living. “Adult children may have not seen their parents for a while and are alarmed by their living condition, their limited mobility, or notice memory issues. If you saw changes in their typical behavior trust your gut.”
After a holiday visit with your senior parent living, it is a good time to assess the key factors about whether they can care for themselves?
- Is there weight loss? Are they eating properly? Are there fresh produce and food in the cupboards and refrigerator? Is food spoiled in their house?
- Are they wearing clean clothing? Are they wearing the same clothing over and over? Have they showered? Brushed their hair? Shaved?
- Are they keeping their regular doctor visits? Are they going to the eye doctor for a checkup? Have they gone to the dentist? Do they forget to take medication? Are they hard of hearing?
- Mobility. Have they suffered a fall? Can they get in and out of a chair or bed on their own? Are they stable when walking? Do they have unexplained bruising?
- Memory. Are they forgetting things they should know? Are the confused? Are they having mood swings? Are they depressed? Are they missing appointments?
- Social Activity. Have they lost interest in hobbies and activities? Are they lonely? Are they skipping time with friends? Do they seem depressed?
- Finances. Are they forgetting to pay bills? Are they getting late notices? Are they bouncing checks?
- Is it a messy? Are appliances broken? Is the yard not maintained? Does their car have unexplained dents and scratches?
If your senior parent’s health seems to be compromised, it is time to have a discussion about their living situation and care options. Depending on their needs, the options could be moving in with you or a family member, finding a senior housing or assisted living community, or arranging in-home care. These decisions are never easy, but delaying a decision can affect your parent and loved one’s quality of life.
Make it your priority to get your parent the help that they need. If you need help reach out to your nearest Aegis Living community.