The Holidays: What to Watch for When Visiting an Elderly Loved One

November 19, 2021

The Holidays are a time when we visit elderly friends and family that we may haven’t seen in a while. While it might not be a popular subject to discuss over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it is a good time to make sure your loved one is safe. This article will discuss our top 4 causes of concern to watch for when visiting your elderly loved one and how a senior community may help alleviate your worries.

The Holidays What to Watch for When Visiting an Elderly Loved One 12.21
  1. Weight Loss. Significant weight loss can signal health problems that include depression, dementia, and cancer. Some seniors may feel more fatigue and place less purpose on shopping and preparing nutritious foods, especially if they live alone. Other seniors may be experiencing side effects from new medicines or the mismanagement of medicines.
    • If there is no one available to check on your loved one daily, a senior living community may be considered. Priority Life Care communities offer 3 nutritious meals a day, including snacks.
  2. Mobility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of elderly are treated at emergency departments each year for fall-related injuries like hip fractures. Watch to see if your loved one is having trouble getting around. They could be holding onto furniture, or avoiding stairs. Also, look for and ask about any visible scratches or bruising.
    • All Priority Life Care communities have 24/7 staffing that checks on residents regularly as well as on-site therapy options that can help seniors with physical and mobility strengthening.
  3. Mood. Seniors living alone are more likely to be depressed, and it’s not always easy to identify. Watch and listen for signs of depression. Signs may include distancing from friends and social events, less interest in hobbies, a decline in the cleanliness of the home, piles of mail, and trouble sleeping.
    • Community living for seniors is a great option for someone who wants to be socially engaged with peers and like-minded people. Senior living offers many opportunities to meet new friends, visit with family, and continue to stay involved in the local community.
  4. Personal Care. A decline in hygiene is also a significant cause for concern when visiting with your elderly loved one. The inability or lack of desire to shower, get dressed, comb hair, and/or brush teeth are signs that your loved one needs help.
    • Personal Care is part of the “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs). An assisted living or enhanced personal care community can help with ADLs such as personal hygiene, dressing, bathing, toileting, and more. The care is custom to the individual’s needs.

While the family may be engaged in the joy of holidays, it’s important to find time to communicate your observations. Open communication will help lessen or avoid a future emergency situation if one should arise. You will want to identify the friends and family who can support your loved one, understand the care needed now, and create a plan for the future.

If you find that your loved one may have a need for help with any or all of the items above, call your nearest Priority Life Care community. Our caregivers are one-on-one with our residents every day. We have daily events, activities, and outings that give residents purpose. Seniors in our community continue to thrive, be social, and have a place to belong.

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