4 Things to Look for When Visiting an Aging Parent Over the Holidays

Holiday Thanksgiving Grandkids
As the holiday season approaches, spending time with your parents or other loved ones as they grow older becomes an even more cherished tradition. During these gatherings, it’s crucial to be attentive to potential signs of age-related decline. Here are some key areas to observe that may provide valuable insight into the well-being of your senior family members.

  1. Weight loss

Weight loss can be a crucial indicator of various health issues such as dementia or depression. Mom or dad might be facing challenges in meal preparation due to confusion, lower energy levels, or fatigue. Encourage a doctor’s appointment if weight loss is evident to address concerns.

  1. Changes in balance and mobility

 A festive atmosphere may encourage seniors to participate in various activities. So be sure to watch your loved one’s movements carefully for signs of joint, muscle, or neurological problems. Meeting with a specialist to address mobility concerns is an important part of early detection for dementia and other issues.

  1. Fluctuations in mood and behavior

The holiday season is synonymous with joy and celebration but it can also bring about emotional challenges. Unusual moods and behaviors might indicate underlying issues. Look for changes in your parent’s regular social activities such as attending activities, visiting with neighbors, or staying in touch with friends. Also be aware of differences in their sleep patterns and personal hygiene.

  1. Changes in the home environment

Pay attention to your loved one’s surroundings, noticing changes in their living space and bill-paying habits. Subtle signs, like scorched cookware or an overflowing hamper, may indicate challenges in daily tasks. Check expiration dates on medications and food, and ensure proper medication management to avoid unused or expired prescriptions.