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Seeing Mom and Dad for the Holidays? Use Your Senses to Check on Them

As the holidays approach, I am reminded they are a time for joyous celebration and togetherness with family and friends. It is also a time we often receive phone calls from concerned children and other relations who just visited their older adult relative still living at home, and are concerned about him or her. Before your holiday visits, I have some simple tips to help you be proactive and see how your older loved ones are doing.

As a start, use your senses. How is Dad dressed? Is he wearing the same clothes on multiple days? Are the clothes stained? If they still drive, check out the car. Are there new dents? How is his driving during the day and at night? Is Mom frequently forgetting familiar names, faces and places? If you open the fridge for a snack, check it out. Does Mom usually prepare the meals but now the fridge is empty? Does it smell with spoiled food? How does the house look? Are there items, such as newspapers and laundry, on the floor, and are they blocking doorways? Is it dark in the house because light bulbs are out in hallways and other key areas of entrance and egress? If Mom or Dad is living with a spouse or aide or someone else, take some time to listen to them about how things are going. Ask open ended question that cannot be answered with just a yes or no.

If you are finding areas of concern, it may be time to have a conversation with your older loved one(s) and family. For tips on how to have the conversation, contact us at 215-470-9010 or visit Good luck and Happy Holidays!

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