Holiday Visits: Observations of Aging
How can you tell if an older relative needs help? The signs are often so subtle that they’re easy to miss—especially when you’re not sure what to keep an eye out for. Furthermore, many seniors are afraid to become dependent, which can lead them to downplay their troubles and make it harder for families to know when extra help may be needed.
For instance, you may wonder if a family member is losing his or her memory—or they’re simply experiencing the forgetfulness that comes with age. You might wonder if your parent or relative needs to move into an assisted living community or another type of residential setting, and many older adults will continue to minimize their difficulties, so they don’t seem like a burden.
Knowing some early signs may help you decide when to intervene. During your holiday visit, look for any of these indications and consider getting your family member the help they need from an assisted living community.
Changes in Mood and Disposition
Everyone feels sad at times, and with the loss of family and friends, as well as the challenges of aging, elders often have many reasons to feel blue. If your previously happy family member has undergone mood changes that last for longer than normal, it may indicate illness or depression.
Things Aren’t Quite Right At Home
When visiting over the holidays, assess the condition of your family member’s home. How does it look? Is the pantry filled with old food, and is the refrigerator full? Are dirty dishes filling the sink? Are belongings stored haphazardly, instead of being in their proper places? If your relative has always been tidy, changes in cleanliness may indicate difficulties with daily housekeeping tasks.
A Changing Social Life
Social engagement is a marker of good mental and physical health. The pandemic has made it harder for everyone, and seniors can suffer from loneliness and isolation, too. Check-in on older family members to ensure that they’re staying active, connected and engaged. If they’ve lost interest in social activities, it’s a big warning sign.
Does the person look like they’re losing weight? Are you noticing changes in hygiene habits, or are their clothes overly dirty or worn? If they’ve always been neat, clean, and well-groomed, sudden changes may point to problems.
Forgetting About the Mail
Are late bills becoming a problem? Unopened mail in the mailbox, on the desk, or on the counter may show difficulties in handling everyday paperwork. In assisted living with memory care, your family member will get the help needed to keep on top of things.
Does your mom still go to church or her weekly bingo game? Has your dad stopped participating in the hobbies he’s always loved? Losing interest in one’s favorite activities may be the result of depression, illness, or forgetfulness.
Confusion and agitation are some of the earliest signs of the need for senior care. Does the person seem confused sometimes? Or, do they get frustrated when they’re unable to complete simple tasks as well as they used to? These occurrences may be signs of memory loss and other age-related challenges.
Problems in the Garage
Over the holidays, check your relative’s vehicle. Is their car showing a bit more than ordinary wear and tear? Are there scrapes, dents, and dings with no explanation as to how they happened? If their car is damaged, they may be having a hard time behind the wheel.
Bruises, Bumps, and Scratches
When an elderly person falls regularly, they may develop bruises, bumps, and scratches on their arms, legs, hands, and head. Despite these incidents, they may be reluctant to talk about it—simply because they don’t want anyone to worry. If during your holiday visit, you notice unexplained injuries, it may be time to evaluate options for senior living in Culver City, CA.
Pay Attention to Your Gut Feelings
Keep in mind that, when you care for an older family member, things may happen suddenly. Even if you don’t see any of the obvious signs we’ve mentioned here, if something doesn’t seem quite right, it’s important to investigate a little further.
Families should be open and upfront about their concerns. If it’s necessary, discuss those worries with a neighbor, a friend, or the person’s physician. Remember that everyone has an “off” day occasionally, and your family member can be out of sorts without having serious problems. Instead of basing assumptions on one-off occurrences, look for patterns and issues that get worse with time.
Get the Help Your Family Member Needs
If you feel as if your elderly family member could use a little help, assisted living may be the right next step. Terrazza Court Senior Living gives residents the safety and convenience they need while helping them retain their independence.