Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6 Things to Look for this Holiday Season that Indicate Your Parents Should Move into a Senior Living Community

We know the feeling: you walk into your childhood home for the holiday season, and you expect the warm welcome, the sparkling decor, and the loving hugs and kisses from your parents. What you find is a bare house, basic decorations, maybe a little messier than usual, and less joy and energy than you were expecting. You watch your parents walk towards you with smiles and open arms, but they are are pale, thin, and a little shakier that normal. You find yourself thinking, maybe my parents need more care than they’re getting. Look out for these 6 things while you’re at your parents’ house this weekend.

1. Memory Issues: We all know that Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia can develop quickly. Watch for some of the tell-tale signs: impairments in language, reasoning, and focus; misplacing items, and issues remembering daily schedules; mood swings and apathy; being repetitive; and difficulty performing daily tasks.

2. Bruises and wounds that aren’t healing: When we age, our bodies don’t heal as quickly. If your parents’ have stopped healing, this may mean they need professional wound care.

3. Instability when standing or walking: This can be subtle, but is no less important. If your parents are unstable, they are at a higher risk for falling, and if they live alone, this can be very dangerous.

4. Severe weight gain or loss: This can be due to overeating or not eating enough because they’ve forgotten. This can also be a symptom of more severe health issues. Most of the time, meal preparation becomes too much of a chore, and your parents are going to resort to pre-made meals from the freezer isle, which contain too much sodium and sugar to be healthy. This change in diet can cause a spike to their weight.

5. Depression: Again, watch for mood swings, feelings of worthlessness and helplessness, and for extreme fatigue. These are only some of the symptoms of depression. If you are really concerned that one or both of your parents have depression, please contact their doctor immediately.

6. Worsening of chronic conditions or illnesses: If your parents have diabetes, arthritis, or any chronic illnesses, you should always be watching for changes in their symptoms or medication. These could indicate more care is needed.

If your parents are showcasing any of these symptoms, you may want to consider having a conversation with them about moving out of their big house, and moving into a senior living community where nursing and care giving professionals can keep an eye on them all the time, healthy meals will be prepared for them, and their home is cleaned regularly for them. This may be the time in your life when you must now take care of your parents, just like they took care of you and your family for so long.

Please visit our website for more information about senior living and assisted living options.