As families prepare to gather for the holidays, adult children of
seniors may wish to prepare themselves to address any physical changes
that may have occurred with their parents – changes that may indicate
they need assistance.
The holidays are a great time to really
observe and see how senior loved ones are doing. Even if you meet with
some resistance when gently confronting a loved one about potential
issues you may observe during your visit, it is in both your and your
loved one’s best interest to find a solution that can help keep him or
her safe and independent at home.
At Home Instead Senior Care serving Central Oregon, we recommend looking for the following signs that could threaten your loved one’s independence.
Pain. Does your mother now pull up a stool by the sink to peel the
potatoes? Does she wince in pain when she bends down? If you notice any
red flags, gently ask her if everything is alright. Even if she tries to
pretend she’s managing fine, consider helping her make a doctor’s
appointment “just to be sure.”
• Memory. Does your father have
trouble recalling events from earlier in the day? Has he told you the
same story over and over? You may want to keep a list of concerns to
bring up with his primary care physician.
• Depression. If you see
any hints of irritability, sadness or sleep difficulties, these could
be signs of depression. Depression can be a problem for seniors and
should be checked out by a doctor or mental health care professional if
• Social Engagement. Ask your mother to tell you
about her friends. Social seniors generally have a healthier and more
optimistic outlook on life. If she doesn’t have a strong social network,
look into community activities that she may enjoy. Be sure to address
any concerns about mobility with your senior’s physician.
Safety. If your father has more difficulty walking, make sure he has a
cane, walker or the proper support; remove throw rugs or other potential
tripping hazards; and look into installing grab bars and no-slip strips
• Housekeeping: As seniors experience declining
health, they may have more trouble keeping up with the housework. If you
notice the house looks more unkempt than usual, consider senior care
services that include light housekeeping.
• Medication; Try to
notice if your senior loved one is taking his or her prescribed
medications at the appropriate time (e.g. mealtime or before bed) and if
the pill box is organized. If he or she is not keeping a reliable
medication schedule, you may want to look into home care services that
offer medication reminders.
For more information, please contact Home Instead Senior Care serving Central Oregon at 541-330-6400 or Like us on Facebook.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
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