There’s nothing like going home for the holidays. The memories of beloved traditions and reuniting with family and friends is something millions of Americans look forward to every year.
For those who see older relatives only during the holidays, this may be a time when they realize their loved ones are no longer living as robustly or as safely as they have in the past. Many children go home to discover a formerly healthy parent looking thin or frail, or a once immaculate home in disarray. These can be a sign that intervention or outside help in managing their day-to-day activities may be needed.
Here are some other warning signs to look out for while you’re visiting an older loved one:
- Forgetfulness – If you see recurring instances of forgetfulness – including repeating the same thing over and over – it may be a sign of something serious.
- Dangerous habits – Leaving the stove on, not locking the front door, taking expired medications, dings or small dents on car mirrors or doors or neglecting to turn off a car are all red flags that something may be wrong.
- Excessive clutter around the house or unkempt personal appearance – A cessation of personal hygiene and household cleanliness is often a sign your loved one needs help. This includes stacks of unopened mail and unpaid bills.
- Depression or unusual mood swings – Changes in mood are common in people living with dementia and other health challenges and require a physician’s attention. At times there are biological factors that cause dementia related symptoms which may be corrected if treated early.
- Isolation – If you’re loved one has stopped seeing friends and seems to be spending more time alone this could be a sign of cognitive decline or other health related concerns that need to be addressed.
If you notice any of these signs during your holiday visit, it may be time to consider enlisting the services of an AMR aging life care expert. A care manager can provide a comprehensive assessment of your loved one’s physical, emotional, social, financial and safety needs and then develop an individualized Care Plan that provides solutions and resources for both immediate and long-term needs. They can then monitor, coordinate and implement the plan to ensure all issues are addressed and help your loved one continue living a safe and enjoyable life at home.
Reuniting with family during the holidays provides an excellent opportunity to assess your loved one’s living situation and help them get the help they need if they’re showing any of these signs. AMR Care Group has helped hundreds of families navigate the challenges of aging and assisted them in living lives of independence, dignity and purpose.