Holiday Visits Can Reveal Signs Older Adults Need Help at Home

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Home Instead Senior Care reminds families to watch for signals a loved one could benefit from home care

This holiday season, many people will spend time with family and friends they haven’t seen in a while. For those with older loved ones, holiday visits can bring attention to changes in lifestyle or behavior that might indicate an older adult needs assistance at home.

According to AARP, 87 percent of seniors want to age in place, however, nearly two in 10 Americans over age 70 say that they find it difficult to live independently and accomplish daily tasks. For many older adults, caregivers who assist with everyday tasks can mean the difference between aging at home and moving to a care community.

“Many people notice changes in their 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, home care is intended to help older adults remain safe and independent by helping with activities of daily living, such as driving, meal preparation or housekeeping.”

As the holidays approach, Home Instead reminds families of signs that might indicate a loved one needs assistance, including 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 on paying bills and refilling medications?
  • Social life. Ask a loved one how things are going with friends and neighbors to see if they’re still interested in social interactions. Ask the neighbors how often they see a loved one out and if they engage in conversation.

Identifying signs of needed assistance and getting care are important in ensuring an older loved one can age in place. For more information, visit

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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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