Tips for Visiting Aging Parents Over the Holidays
4 January 2022
The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones and schedule some in-person quality time together. This is especially true for those of us with aging parents that we aren’t able to see on a regular basis.
Millions of Americans provide support to their elderly loved ones from a distance. This may include regular phone calls, video chats, and physical mail. Although these are all wonderful ways to stay in touch, seeing them in person can make it easier to gauge how well elderly loved ones may be doing.
Connecting in-person within their everyday environment can be a great way to identify any red flags for wellness, safety issues, and other areas of concern. This doesn’t have to be done in a dramatic fashion by adult children, and should always be done in a positive and supportive way.
So what are some things to consider when visiting aging parents over the holidays? Keep reading to learn more!
Identifying Physical Changes
Aging parents can sometimes downplay changes in their capabilities. When this happens, their family members may lose awareness of what they’re truly able to do for themselves during their daily activities.
When visiting over the holidays, it can be helpful to keep an eye out for any such changes. For example, has either of your parents become increasingly frail or delicate? Pay attention to how they tend to move and walk around. If they seem to be having difficulty, there may be a problem with their muscles, joints, or nervous system.
Additionally, taking note of their overall weight can be important. If they’ve lost significant weight, there may be a larger problem at hand that needs to be addressed.
Mental Wellness & Cognition
Besides physical wellness, it is also critical to check on how aging parents are doing mentally. For example, does their ability to hold a conversation seem to be getting significantly worse? This may happen if elderly parents find themselves increasingly confused about simple things. They might also start repeating themselves more often without meaning to do so.
It’s also important to note if they seem happy and positive in general. Getting older can be difficult and lead to isolation and loneliness in many elderly adults. Taking the time to understand how they’re feeling in this regard can be quite important.
Cleanliness & Upkeep
During a holiday visit, adult children can see clearly how well their parents are able to maintain themselves and their homes. Signs of clutter and largely unorganized spaces can be a red flag that they may need some assistance in their daily tasks.
Take note of how well dressed and clean they are. Do they need help with personal hygiene or in getting ready every day? Sometimes certain personal & house tasks can become too difficult for elderly parents to do on their own.
Other areas to keep an eye on include the pantry and refrigerator. Is there any spoiled food in there? Are your parents able to feed themselves properly and discard things appropriately? Take the time to check on this and other areas such as their laundry, vehicles, mail, and medications.
As you can see, there are many important things to keep an eye out for when visiting aging parents over the holidays. Seeing them in person is a great way to see how they’re doing in their normal environment. Unfortunately, aging can be difficult in many ways and some parents may be reluctant to admit when they’re no longer capable of doing something.
Make it easy for them to find support in things they could use assistance with. Here at Rose’s Agency Home Care, we are passionate about helping aging parents maintain a high quality of life with the help of highly skilled caregivers. With the right support, many age-related concerns can be mitigated for the elderly.
It is wonderful to enjoy quality in-person time with your aging parents over the holidays. Enjoy this special time of year and use it to ensure your loved ones are supported in everything they may need as the new year begins.
For more questions about getting a loved one caregiver support, please contact us by clicking here.