Thursday, December 3, 2015

Checking in on Aging Parents Over the Holidays

The holiday season often brings together family from near and far. This can be a great opportunity to check up on how your aging parent is faring, especially if you don’t see them on a regular basis. When you see them every day, it can be easy to miss slow changes, but others in your family may pick up on them. If you live further away, it’s a chance to evaluate in person how your senior is doing. There are several things to pay attention to:

  • Their Home

Look around for any safety concerns. Are there cords or rugs they could trip over? Is there adequate lighting in hallways and stairwells? Does there seem to be a lot of clutter around? These are issues you can address while you are there. If they generally keep a tidy house and things seem more disorganized or dirtier than usual, consider the fact that they may be having difficulty with these tasks. Maybe the vacuum cleaner is too heavy or they’re not able to bend down to clean as well. Perhaps the stairs make it harder to take cleaning supplies to different levels of their home or carry laundry.

  • Their Mobility

Does your senior seem less steady on their feet? Are they having trouble getting in and out of chairs or navigating around furniture? Have they developed arthritis or physical limitations that make activities of daily living more challenging? A trip to the doctor could be in order for further evaluation. You may also want to consider assistive devices or an in-home care provider that can help them with tasks around the home. A caregiver can also help your senior to prevent trips and falls.

  • Their Mental Health

Spend time talking to your loved one. Do they seem to have trouble finding the right words, remembering things, or completing multi-step tasks? Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two common conditions in seniors that can affect their mental abilities. If your senior seems confused or out of sorts, it may be time to provide them with additional support. Also look for indicators that they may be struggling with depression or loneliness.

  • Their Overall Wellbeing

Look at the bigger picture of how your senior is doing living on their own. Are there any areas where they could use more help? This could include things like meal preparation, medication reminders, paying bills, tidying up, or going on outings in the community. You could also ask them if there is anything they need assistance with or that they struggle to do on their own. Senior services can help enhance your loved one’s quality of life and allow them to age in place more safely and comfortably. Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville provides a wide range of services and can offer support ranging from a few hours a week to a few hours a day depending on your loved one’s needs. Call (828) 989-7263 or visit us online for more information.

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