Whether you live down the block or across the country, holiday visits are a great opportunity to take a closer look at your aging loved one and their surroundings. The Aging Life Care Association® offers the following list of what to look for and questions to ask when spending time with aging adults.
TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- As the old familiar song says, many will be heading "Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go" this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Whether you live down the block or across the country, holiday visits are a great opportunity to take a closer look at your aging loved one and their surroundings.
"Families should take time to observe any changes in an aging family member's behaviors or lifestyle," says Anne Sansevero, president of the Aging Life Care Association and practicing Aging Life Care Manager. "Changes may vary widely – from outwardly visible to subtle shifts in habits."
The Aging Life Care Association offers the following list of what to look for and questions to ask when spending time with aging adults.
- Do you notice signs of damage or disrepair around or in the home? Accumulated trash or possessions? Burned out light bulbs?
- Any decline in cleanliness, especially in the kitchen and bathroom? Are items being stored in unusual or hazardous places? Is there a large amount of unopened mail?
- Does their car have scratches or other areas of damage?
- Is there adequate food? Check the refrigerator and pantry for expired or spoiled food items.
- Do you notice weight loss, or do you suspect that your aging loved one is skipping meals or not eating a nutritious diet?
Mood or behavior:
- Has mom or dad stopped socializing and/or given up on hobbies that were important to them?
- Do they have any new friends or organizations who they have a lot of contact with? Is anyone or any organization asking for repeated or large donations or loans?
- Are you noticing increased confusion? Do you notice your aging loved one constantly repeating themselves?
- Are they showing irritability or apathy? Does he or she seem more withdrawn or sad?
- Are you noticing your aging loved one is unkempt, not dressing during the day like they used to, not showering; or wearing soiled clothing when they do get dressed?
- Do you notice bruises that may indicate they have had falls?
Examining these four areas and answering these questions may help you determine if the aging adult needs assistance. Sansevero says early intervention may help prevent a crisis. "By initiating conversation early and reaching out for support and information, you can help your loved ones as they navigate this new stage of their lives. Observe, listen, and spend time with them."
Aging Life Care Managers are an excellent resource for support. Working with families, an Aging Life Care Manager is a strategic planner offering options and solutions that best fit a person's individual needs and resources. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress, and time away from work for family caregivers.
SOURCE Aging Life Care Association