VISITING FOR THE HOLIDAYS? WHAT TO WATCH FOR WITH AGING LOVED ONES
The holidays are a time for joy and togetherness, a perfect occasion to spend quality time with family and friends. If you have aging parents, it’s also an ideal opportunity to check in on their health, safety, and well-being.
During the holiday season, you may notice some changes in your parents or loved ones – especially if you haven’t seen them in person for a while. While there is no need to jump to conclusions, this might be the ideal time to talk about if they need additional assistance in the home, if they could benefit from a move to a community environment and what they envision in their future.
SIGNS TO WATCH FOR WHEN VISITING AGING PARENTS
Here’s a helpful list of signs adult children should be aware of when visiting their aging parents during the holidays:
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty getting around
- Changes in balance or coordination
- Fatigue or weakness
Pay attention to your parents’ physical appearance and mobility. Are they experiencing unexplained weight loss or gain? Do they face challenges with walking, climbing stairs, or exhibit an increased susceptibility to falls?
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Difficulty making decisions
- Difficulty following conversations
- Difficulty managing finances
- Difficulty driving
Look out for changes in your parents’ memory, cognition, and decision-making. Are your parents forgetting things more frequently, struggling with concentration, or making decisions differently from their past norm?
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Changes in mood or personality
- Sleep disturbances
Monitor shifts in mood and behavior. Are your parents or loved ones becoming more irritable, withdrawn, or having trouble sleeping? Do they appear confused or disoriented?
HOME ENVIRONMENT CHANGES
- Clutter or disorganization
- Unpaid bills or overdue notices
- Spoiled food or empty refrigerator
- Dirty dishes or laundry
- Unsafe conditions, such as tripping hazards or poor lighting
- Medications that are not organized or properly labeled
Assess the condition of your parents’ home. Is it well-maintained and clean, or do safety hazards exist? Are they still managing their finances and household chores effectively? Are there mobility aids, such as grab bars or walkers?
If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary, initiate a conversation with your aging parents about their current and future needs. Do your best to collaborate with your parent and find solutions that everyone can live with. While they may initially resist the idea of seeking help, reiterate that their health and safety are your top priority and discuss the available resources that can provide valuable support.
It’s important to remember that everyone ages differently and at their own pace. If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing, it’s always best to talk to a professional, a member of clergy or a relative.
OPTIONS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR AGING PARENTS
As an adult child, you can help guide your parent through any changes by becoming their support system. There is an abundance of options available to older adults to support them and their current needs in the home. Talk to friends or family about their experiences and recommendations.
Or perhaps your parents are considering the possibility of moving to a community setting (Even if your loved ones aren’t ready to move, it’s never too early for them (or you) to learn about the different options available.)
One path to consider is moving to a community that provides independent living, assisted living, or memory care and offer an array of services and amenities.
Independent living communities provide both housing and support services for seniors who remain relatively active and independent. Assisted living communities extend more personalized care and assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management based on your personal needs and your choices. Memory care communities are specifically tailored for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Another option to consider is a life plan community or CCRC (continuing care retirement community) such as John Knox Village. These communities offer a continuum of services, from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care, all within a single campus. This approach enables residents to age in place, receiving the level of care required as their needs evolve.
During the holiday season, it’s common to see an uptick in inquiries and tour requests at John Knox Village. Families often find the holidays a good time to tour the community and gain a deeper understanding of the extensive resources and support services John Knox Village can offer to their loved ones.
Exploring options and scheduling a tour can provide valuable insights for families as they make informed decisions about the most suitable senior living option for mom and dad.
If you’re considering independent living, assisted living, or memory care communities, or life plan and CCRC communities for your aging parents, here are a few tips:
TIPS FOR CONSIDERING SENIOR LIVING OPTIONS
1. TALK TO YOUR PARENTS
Engage in open conversations with your parents about their health, wishes and preferences when choosing a senior living community. Understanding their needs and ensuring their comfort with the idea is important as you get started selecting a community. Remember, you are there to help guide them and offer support.
Selecting a senior living community is a big decision, but it often proves to be the right choice for aging parents. This transition can also provide respite for adult children and caregivers, who face physical and emotional demands.
2. DO YOUR RESEARCH
There are many different types of senior living communities available, so it’s important to do your research and find one that aligns with your parents’ needs and budget.
3. VISIT COMMUNITIES IN PERSON
After narrowing down your choices, visit your top communities in person and talk to the staff and residents. This will give you firsthand understanding of the environment and whether it is a good fit for your parents.
JOHN KNOX VILLAGE IS HERE TO SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Finding the ideal senior living solution for your aging parents and loved ones is a significant step, and at John Knox Village we’re here to support you every step of the way.
We invite you to experience firsthand the warmth and care of John Knox Village by scheduling a tour during the holiday season. Our dedicated team is ready to welcome you, answer your questions, and show you everything we have to offer.
Contact us today to schedule a tour of John Knox Village.