Visiting Your Parents During the Holidays: Health Concerns to Notice

The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with friends and family, some you may only have the opportunity to see once year. There’s plenty to talk about and stories to share, but it’s also important to use this time to observe possible changes in your parent’s health.

Here are a few changes that may indicate your parent could benefit from a move to a senior living community.

Memory Loss

A certain level of memory loss is normal as we age. According to Mayo Clinic, concerning memory behavior may include:

  • Getting lost in familiar areas of town
  • Asking the same questions repeatedly
  • Missing important appointments
  • Mixing words up, such as saying “bed” instead of “table”
  • Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe
  • Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in a kitchen drawer
  • Having changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason

If you have any concerns that your parent may be suffering from memory loss, encourage him or her to see a doctor. There are several tests which can help determine the degree of memory loss and diagnose a cause.

Depending on the severity, it may be time to consider a memory care community like The Village at Gainesville, which can provide the continuous care he or she needs.

Changes in Mobility

Everyday tasks may become more difficult as we age. Your parent may no longer be able to mow the grass, perform maintenance around the house, or exercise as they did before. These are physical changes that need to be monitored closely to make certain your parents well-being is not suffering as a result.

More concerning behavior could include:

  • Broken appliances
  • Spoiled or expired groceries that don’t get thrown away
  • A cluttered, dirty or disorganized house
  • Trouble getting up from a seated position
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Difficulty driving

Major changes in mobility may mean it’s time to consider a supportive retirement community option, which will allow your parent to remain independent in a safe environment.

Socialization

Your parents’ spirits may be lifted as they welcome you home for the holidays, but it is important to ask questions to understand how their day-to-day life is going outside of the holiday celebrations.

Be thoughtful in your questions; ask them about their activities, daily routine and the people in their lives, each question will help you gauge their social happiness. If your parents are defensive when you ask about their day-to-day routine, reluctant to list out the activities they participate in, or are unwilling to share the names of the people they spends time with, this may be an area of concern.

Socialization is important to maintaining emotional well-being and keeping your parents involved in the activities they love. A senior living community provides residents with opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and participate in hobbies. At The Village at Gainesville, daily activities calendars and a dedicated programming staff offer opportunities for your loved one to get involved.

Use the time with your parents this holiday season to make certain they are living their best life. If you notice any of these areas of concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to staff at The Village at Gainesville. We are happy to share our resources and recommendations.