Home for the Holidays: Home Instead Senior Care Reminds Families to Look for Signs a Senior Needs Help at Home

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Simple changes might indicate seniors need help to continue aging in place

This holiday season, many people will head home to spend time with loved ones. For adult children with aging parents, reuniting after a long period of time can bring attention to changes in lifestyle or behavior that might indicate a senior needs assistance at home.

Aging in place and living independently are top of mind for most seniors. According to research from AARP, 87 percent of seniors want to stay in their current homes as they age. For many seniors, having someone to help with everyday tasks can mean the difference between aging at home and moving to a care community.

“Many people notice changes in their senior loved ones around the holidays, but don’t know where to turn for help,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist at Home Instead Senior Care. “Whether it comes from family, friends or a hired caregiver, help with everyday tasks like meal preparation, light housekeeping and medication reminders can allow older adults to stay safe and healthy at home.”

As the holidays approach, Home Instead reminds families of signs that might indicate a loved one needs assistance. When visiting a senior loved one, look out for changes in the following:

  •     Physical appearance. Is their clothing dirty or unkempt? Does it look like they have lost interest in personal hygiene? Have they lost a significant amount of weight?
  •     Mood. Are they acting different than usual? Have they been more emotional or less talkative?
  •     Food choices. Are they eating more junk food? Has food spoiled or is the refrigerator empty because they can’t make it to the grocery store? Are they choosing food that might indicate they are having trouble chewing?
  •     Housework. Have their hands become shaky? Look for signs of spills or soiled areas on the floor. Is there a significant amount of dust, perhaps because they aren’t able to reach certain areas? Are they keeping up to date on paying bills and refilling medications?
  •     Social life. Ask your parents how things are going with friends and neighbors to see if they’re keeping up with social interactions. Ask the neighbors how often they see a senior loved one out and if they engage in conversation.

Identifying signs of needed assistance and getting care are important in ensuring a senior’s ability to age in place. For access to more information on seeking assistance for senior loved ones or how they can overcome everyday challenges, visit CaregiverStress.com.

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Neb., by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family care education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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