It’s the time of year when families will be gathering to celebrate the holidays. Holidays often bring together relatives who live a distance from each other. Elderly parents aren’t always forthcoming about their health and daily living when talking with their adult children over the phone. While they might not want to admit it, they may need some extra help. During this year’s holiday gatherings, be sure to look for some signs to check the well-being of aging parents.

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  1. Home Environment – With a quick walkthrough of the home, check for changes to their typical routine. Are there piles of unopened mail or excess clutter? Is there burnt cookware or an overflowing clothes hamper? An excess of some usual food items and a shortage of others? These are a few signs that extra help may be needed.
  2. Weight Loss – Check the refrigerator. Are there healthy options available? Are there expired or moldy foods? Dramatic weight loss could indicate a diet of unhealthy snacks or perhaps not eating much at all.
  3. Changes in Balance and Mobility – Watch basic activities such as standing up and walking.  If they are unsteady, they are at an extra risk for falling which could result in more serious injuries. Also, look at the vehicles for fender benders, nicks and scrapes on the sides of the cars. This could indicate a problem with driving such as visual and spatial skills.  
  4. Emotional Well-Being – Watch for changes in mood and behavior; look for signs of depression and anxiety. If you notice odd behavior, such as confusion or agitation, be sure to seek medical attention.

If your family hasn’t already started a conversation about care assistance, the holidays are the perfect time to begin. A great first step is to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one about their current situation and your concerns. The professionals at The Care Assistance Center in Raleigh are happy to help with these difficult conversations as well as connect you with the best resources for assisting your aging parents.