Red Flags to Watch for When Visiting with Seniors Over the Holidays

Visiting with Seniors Over the Holidays

Unfortunately, age-related decline can happen quickly. In many cases, seniors are great at hiding new and worsening issues. For many families, holiday visits are the only opportunity for them to observe their senior loved ones in person. Therefore, pay close attention to your senior loved one’s physical and mental health, as well as their living situation. When visiting with seniors over the holidays this year, watch for the following warning signs that they may require some extra help at home.

Signs to Look for When Visiting with Seniors Over the Holidays

Weight Loss

When visiting with seniors over the holidays, weight loss is a common sign to look for. Weight loss is one of the most obvious signs of ill health, either physical or mental. Possible causes of weight loss can include the following:

  • cancer
  • dementia
  • depression

Senior loved ones may also experience a reduction in energy. This can make it difficult to shop for and prepare a nutritious meal and clean up afterwards. Therefore, all of this effort can seem particularly unnecessary if they live and eat alone. Specific medications and aging in general can also affect the way food tastes.

Our at-home caregivers offer meal preparation services than can assist with this issue as well. If your senior loved one no longer has the energy to cook, we can prepare meals to appeal their tastes. Also, our caregivers can follow any dietary restrictions and meet their nutritional needs. We handle the shopping, preparation and clean-up for our clients.

Changes in Balance and Mobility

Changes in balance and mobility are also signs to look for when visiting with seniors over the holidays. Pay close attention to the way your senior loved one moves and how they walk. Being reluctant to walk, changes in gait or obvious pain during movement may be a sign of the following:

  • joint problems
  • muscle problems
  • neurological problems

If your senior loved one is unsteady on their feet, they may be at risk of falling. Falling can result in severe injury or worse. HomeSpark offers a variety of personal care services to ensure your senior loved one remains safe. We take action to reduce the risk of falling in your senior loved ones.

Emotional Well-Being

Watch for changes in your senior loved one’s moods and behavior. You can’t always determine someone’s emotional state over the phone, even if you speak daily. Therefore, observe for signs of depression and anxiety. This can include the following:

  • withdrawal from social activities
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • loss of interest in hobbies
  • changes in basic home maintenance and personal hygiene

The latter can be an indication of dementia or other physical ailments such as dehydration. Dehydration often occurs to elders in the winter months and can be serious. If you see any odd behavior in your senior loved one, such as confusion or agitation, seek medical attention. These are commonly symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI), which is prevalent in seniors. However, antibiotics can easily resolve this.

We all provide companionship services. Our at-home caregivers can spend quality time with our clients by engaging them in conversation, learning about their history, getting them outdoors for walks or gardening, playing games or taking them to community events.

Home Environment

Pay close attention to your senior loved one’s surrounds as well. For example, your senior loved one may have always been a stickler for neatness and paying bills promptly. However, you may discover excess clutter and piles of unopened mail while visiting, it indicates an issue. Walk through their home while you are visiting to see if they are keeping their house to the usual standards.

Keep in mind that sometimes the signs of trouble are a bit subtler. Scorched cookware could indicate that your senior loved one forgets food on the stove or in the oven. In addition, an overflowing hamper could mean they don’t have the strength and/or desire to do laundry. Check the expiration dates on their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and determine if they are taking their medications as prescribed. You know your senior loved one and their habits best. Therefore, go with your gut instinct if something doesn’t seem right.

Our at-home caregivers can also help with regular household duties such as laundry, vacuuming, dishwashing, changing linens and making beds, taking out the trash and even organizing cabinets and closets.

 

Our caregivers here at HomeSpark can help alleviate these signs that you may have discovered while visiting your senior loved one over the holidays. We are committed to providing the best care for your senior loved ones in the Bryan/College Station area. Contact us with the link below for more information!

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