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Evaluating an Aging Relatives Well-Being

Going home for the holidays can be a time of togetherness, celebration and love but it is also a chance to take time to observe the physical and mental health of your loved ones. There might be normal signs of aging, but often, it’s noticeable that additional assistance may be needed. Sometimes changes are obvious, and others are subtler, but in both cases, it’s important to keep an eye out for even the slightest changes.

What to Look Out For:

  • A change in mobility
  • Unpaid bills and unopened mail stacking up
  • An obvious change in weight
  • Items being placed in peculiar places, such as eyeglasses in the refrigerator
  • Frequent confusion and loss of memory
  • Decreased judgement, especially on important matters such as budget
  • Spoiled or limited amounts of food in the refrigerator, especially if this is uncommon for your loved one

The Next Steps

Although hard, try not to jump to conclusions. The holidays are a hectic and stressful time, your loved one could simply be feeling those effects. When you are concerned for an aging relative’s safety, stepping in immediately is necessary, but if not, try to put any heavy talk off until after the holidays are over.

Before speaking with your parents, sit down with your siblings or other family members to express your concerns. This will give you the opportunity to gain different perspectives on how to approach the situation as well as learn about any other peculiarities noticed by other family members. Speaking with friends, neighbors, or other members of the community about your loved ones well being is another way to gain perspective on the situation. Once a plan is made with your family, exploring the services that are available in their community will help guide the conversation.

Talking to an Aging Family Member

Prior to having a talk with your aging loved one about the steps that need to be taken to ensure their safety, put together a list of specific examples as well as potential solutions that will be beneficial to both parties. When having the conversation, remain neutral, refrain from being accusatory and avoid judgmental words or statements. This conversation is a process and typically multiple conversations need to happen before any matters can be resolved. If you’re not close with your parent or if they have difficult personalities, bringing in a third party such as their doctor, a close friend, or even a senior care advisor can help you through the process. With so many new programs available, your aging family members will still be able to be independent and have their own space.

To learn more about the next steps and to schedule a tour of one of our three locations, please call us today at (781) 729-2200.

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