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Helpful Holiday Hints for Families Visiting their Aging Loved Ones

Last we spoke, you were off visiting family for Thanksgiving and here we are a few short weeks later, ready to gather together again.  I hope my simple Thanksgiving Tips were helpful and you had an opportunity to reminisce about the old days while sharing some traditional meals.

While you were visiting did you notice anything different or out of the ordinary? 

Were you able to open up conversation to see how your older loved ones are managing? 

Simple observation is a great practice for each visit and phone call to your loved ones.  You might feel the need to dive into a conversation immediately.  I would suggest circling back another day unless it’s of an urgent nature.  The change in routine with many people around may add stress and confusion.  This postponement will keep the holiday visit and celebrations up beat.

Holidays can be particularly difficult for our Elders.  It’s important to help them to enjoy what they are able to handle and to focus on what brings them Joy.

Asking open-ended questions will likely shed some light on how our loved ones manage their day-to-day activities.  We have to remember not to judge or be critical when we see or hear something out of the ordinary, as we keep their well-being as the top priority.  It is a delicate yet sometimes difficult balance to maintain.  Many families benefit from the support and guidance of professionals who will assist them in this process. 

The Holidays are a wonderful time to gather some clues of a loved one’s well-being ~

  • How does their home and vehicle look?
    • Outdoor chores / maintenance needs attention
    • Indoor housekeeping is slipping or nonexistent
    • Appearances of hording or compulsive focus on the inane
    • Broken items, fixtures, tools, appliances, etc.
    • Check the fridge and cupboards for expired or lack of food
    • Dents or scratches on car
  • How is their personal appearance?
    • Poor personal hygiene
    • Soiled, disheveled or weather inappropriate clothing
    • Poor diet or weight loss
    • Unexplained Bruising or Burns
  • How are their physical abilities?
    • Trouble getting up from their chair
    • Trouble with balance and/or walking
    • Trouble with hand and upper body dexterity
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Any change in their abilities
  • How is their state of mind and their socialization?
    • Difficulty with focusing on the issue at hand
    • Gazing away during a conversation
    • Forgetful, depressed, and lack of energy
    • Missing important appointments
    • Missed medication or appearances of their confusion with medications – too many of some pills and not enough of another, for instance
    • Uncertain and confused with their daily routine
    • Unpaid bills, late notices and collection notices
    • Loss of interest in socializing, driving or cooking

If their health and happiness seem to be diminished in any way, please reach out to our office for guidance and some next steps.  Call the office of Elder Life Care Planning, LLC ~ 860-664-5695 or email Elena directly ~ elena@elderlcp.com