Believe it or not, we’re now in the 11th month of 2017. With the start of November, we not only welcome colder weather, but also the opportunity to convene with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is during these holiday gatherings that you may begin to notice changes in your elderly loved one’s habits and behaviors. For this reason, we have assembled a list of signs to look for while you’re visiting.
- “Mom’s house isn’t as tidy as it once was.”
If you don’t have the flexibility to visit mom as much as you like, the holidays may be one of the only times each year you get to see inside her house. Keep your eyes peeled for dishes that are piled up, rooms that have been neglected and the accessibility of laundry facilities. Lapses in memory, as well as decreased physical abilities, could be lending to this worsening issue and could cause a crisis, such as a fall or fire.
- “Dad used to be such a sharp dresser.”
If your elderly loved one is traveling to you this holiday season, pay close attention to his or her dress. If dad used to be meticulous about his attire and now looks sloppy or disheveled, it could be a warning for further concern. Perhaps dementia is starting to take a toll or the ability to scale the stairs to the laundry room is waning. He may be wearing the same clothes day after day and would benefit from the routine assistance a retirement living community provides.
- “Grandpa loved to play bridge with his friends, but not anymore.”
Take note when a senior in your life forgoes their favorite hobbies and pastimes. There could be several reasons why grandpa doesn’t participate in these interests any longer such as the loss of a driver license, trouble with eyesight or hearing, and the loss of friends to illness or death. Loneliness is a severe a threat to your elderly loved one’s health if not addressed in a timely manner.
While these signs only scratch the surface, there is a lot of truth to be found in their warning. What may seem like natural aging or forgetfulness could be a hint that your elderly loved one could improve physically and emotionally living at a retirement living community. Remember, when you only see very little glimpses of lapsing judgement or physical ability, there are most likely bigger issues just below the surface. Don’t wait to take action! Research your options and know what’s available for the seniors you love. They will thank you and you can rest easy knowing they are happy, healthy and well-cared for!
Allen Phillips, President – November 2017