The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with family. This year might be a little different since we may not be able to see each other in-person because of COVID-19 safety concerns. However, now more than every we need to make sure our loved one's are doing okay, both physically and mentally. We compiled a checklist to help you better understand if your senior loved ones are doing okay.
What should adult children and caregivers watch for as they visit over the holidays?
- Hygiene issues (not dressed well, not put together, etc.)
- Changes in sleep habits, or looks more tired than usual
- Not keeping up with their doctor and dentist appointments
- Any signs of not keeping their usual standard of housekeeping
- Is their stress-level higher than normal
Safety becomes a big concern with seniors. Are they safe in their current home and on the road? What are some red flags?
- Difficulty navigating stairs or walking
- Recent falls to be concerned about
- If they're still driving, have they had any recent violations or accidents
- Reluctance to walk usual distances
- Is home maintenance becoming too much work for them
What are some of the signs of memory loss that families should be concerned about? We're not talking about normal forgetfulness, but rather the kind that makes it hard to do everyday things.
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Not being able to follow instructions
- Asking the same question over and over again
- Becoming confused about time, people, and places
- More moody or depressed than normal
What about other physical and/or cognitive signs that may signal a problem?
- Weight loss due to difficulty cooking, loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty shopping or an underlying condition
Might we see some changes in financial habits, and what could those be?
- Bills are piling up and being neglected
- Excessive purchases or donations
Are your loved ones still social?
- What activities are they interested in, and do you see a lack of interests in the things they once enjoyed
- Are they still seeing their friends
- Are they reluctant to leave home
- Do they stay involved with clubs, faith communities, or other organizations
What are some steps that can be taken to begin having a conversation about senior living options?
- How to open a dialog with your parents and loved ones
- How to approach siblings
- Early actions to suggest or take
- How to overcome resistance to the conversation
Experiencing a senior independent living, assisted living, and memory care community firsthand will help you make an informed decision. Even within the same senior living company, each community can have a different feel. Spending time on the premises will give you a sense of what day-to-day life will be like for your or a loved one in their new home. We've created a complimentary checklist to help you during your personal visit.