Visiting an elderly loved one during the holiday season brings them welcome cheer and respite from the loneliness and depression that can affect seniors. A holiday visit is also the perfect time for a person to evaluate their loved ones and ensure they are safe and healthy. Knowing what to look for will help individuals determine if their loved one may be suffering from mental decline and need assisted living intervention. 

8 Things to Look for When Visiting the Elderly This Holiday Season

While the holidays are often busy and even stressful, it is important for individuals to take time out of their schedules to visit their elderly loved ones and ensure there are no red flags of concern that need to be addressed. If a person notices any of the following, they may need to consider encouraging their loved one to become a resident in an assisted living program. 

  1. If there are piles of unopened mail, individuals may need to begin asking questions. A huge stack of unopened mail may indicate there are issues with mental decline. If an elderly loved one is becoming more forgetful and not taking care of small chores like opening the mail, this may be worrisome and needs further consideration. 
  2. Is there damage to the car or even the garage? While everyone can have an accident, if individuals suddenly see new dents and scratches on their elderly parents’ car or there is garage damage, a mental decline could be to blame. To fully evaluate what is going on, it is helpful if the individual rides with their elderly parents a few times to evaluate their driving ability. 
  3. Assessing the elderly person’s appearance is also essential. Do they look neat and clean? Do they smell bad? Are their clothes clean? Assessing the physical appearance of the elderly can help individuals determine if there are issues present. 
  4. Is there a pet in the elderly person’s home? If there is a dog, cat, or other pet, individuals need to assess the care it is receiving. Does the pet look like it is being cared for? Are the dog’s nails trimmed? Is it well-fed? These are questions to ask when assessing the needs of the elderly. 
  5. Checking the cleanliness of the home is also important. It is important to note that a little mess is not something to be overly concerned about. Seniors can develop problems with cleaning as they grow older. It is a concern if the house is in a poor state of cleanliness and disrepair. 
  6. Check the pantry and the fridge to see if there are ample healthy foods. Talk with the seniors about their cooking ability and what they eat daily. Looking in the fridge and pantry can reveal a lot about how a senior is caring for themselves. 
  7. What about the senior’s medications? Try snooping in the medicine cabinet and get to know what medications they are taking. Count the pills and see if there are any issues with the senior missing doses or taking too much. 
  8. Finally, children of elderly parents need to check their loved ones for any signs of bruising or other injuries. It is important to ask about any injuries. If the senior refuses to tell why they are injured, individuals should be greatly concerned. 

If a person notices any of the above signs, it is important to get their elderly loved one evaluated with a health assessment. When major cognitive declines are occurring, seniors often need to become a resident of a community where they can receive daily integrative care for their health and safety and treatment for cognitive decline

Approaching the Talk

While the holidays may not be the best time to broach the subject of a possible need for memory care, it is important to have this conversation as soon as possible. It is essential that individuals are careful when approaching the heart-to-heart talk. Individuals should not be condescending or accusatory. An individual should do as much listening as they do talking so they can hear from their senior loved ones about what is going on with their day-to-day life. 

The right time and the right approach can both go a long way towards helping a senior avoid becoming defensive when the talk begins. It is a wise idea to make sure the elderly person is well-rested and has eaten before having the talk. Approaching the talk carefully and with patience will be beneficial. 

Crescendo Senior Living is located in the heart of Placentia, California. This assisted living community offers senior residents an engaging living experience that ensures their health, well-being, and safety are protected at all times. Here, seniors live life to the fullest and receive the daily care they need.

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