For those who have aging loved ones, ‘home for the holidays’ can take on a whole new meaning when you discover that something seems a little ‘off’ with mom or dad at this time of year. Is it just old age or could it be something more serious? The signs you are seeing could indicate your loved one might be ready to move to senior living.
“The holidays can be a wake-up call, if you will, for those of us who maybe haven’t seen mom or dad in a while and then, all of a sudden, it seems like they are struggling with routine activities of daily living,” says Jessi Barton, CDP, and community relations director at The Lodge at Stephens Lake senior living community. “The signs and symptoms can be as small as the house seeming more cluttered than normal, or more significantly, not being able to pull together the Thanksgiving meal for the family like in years past.”
Here are some signs to look for during the holiday season that could indicate your loved one could benefit from assisted living or memory care:
- Difficulty in organizing routine tasks. Paying bills, organizing a grocery list, and cleaning the house are normal tasks of life for most adults, but these tasks can become difficult or even impossible to finish for seniors. What’s worse, dementia can cause some to become withdrawn or even upset or angry when tasked with organizing an activity.
- Medication mismanagement. Taking the wrong medication at the wrong time or not taking the medication at all is a big red flag. Some seniors will even stash or hide the medication in unusual ways instead of consuming it, becoming confused or even combative when confronted about the behavior.
- Significant weight loss or gain and other medical issues. Forgetting to eat meals or stay properly hydrated can be the cause of a number of significant health problems, even frequent falls. Recent medical diagnoses or episodes of a recent stroke or heart attack could mean mom or dad can no longer live on their own.
Expired food in the refrigerator, stacks of mail piled up, and “misplaced” items or items in odd locations are also warning signs to watch.
The holidays are, for most people, an exciting time of year when family and friends gather for good food and make wonderful memories. But for some families, it’s a time of discovery that older loved ones are struggling with health issues that may mean it’s time to consider an assisted living or memory care community.
At The Lodge at Stephens Lake, we can help you get the care your loved one deserves. Call today to learn how we can help you through this stage of life so you can enjoy the holidays with mom or dad again.