Senior woman walking with daughter

How to Look for Changes In Your Aging Loved Ones During the Holidays

Evaluating your parent’s health is difficult when you don’t live nearby, and talking on the phone doesn’t help much, either. Holiday visits are the perfect time to check on their well-being and take notice of any changes in their health.

Here are six subtle signs to look for during the holidays that might mean your parents need extra support to have a happy and healthy retirement. 

1. They’ve lost weight

One of the most obvious signs of poor health is unintended weight loss. Seniors might experience low energy levels that make it difficult to shop for nutritious food or prepared meals. Certain medications can also reduce appetite that leads to unhealthy weight loss. 

If you notice weight loss combined with a lack of excitement for a delicious holiday meal or their plates are missing some of their favorite dishes, encourage your loved one to schedule a doctor’s appointment to look for potential causes. 

2. You notice a few fresh scratches on their car

Changes in cognitive abilities make it difficult for some seniors to drive. This means your loved one might take more time to notice merging cars or respond to traffic signals. Physical changes in your family members, like decreased vision and impaired hearing, also make it difficult for seniors to respond to other cars. 

If you notice their car has fresh dents or scrapes, there’s damage to the driveway area, you’ve noticed significant changes in their driving habits, or driving has become a confusing and stressful task, it might be a sign you need to evaluate your parent’s health and consider assisted living services.

3. Their appearance has changed

Bathing, dressing, oral hygiene, and regular hair maintenance, like haircuts or trimming facial hair, are basic self-care tasks and essential for an independent lifestyle. The grooming standards of your parents should be about the same each time you visit.

Wrinkled clothes, unkempt hair or body odor on your parent who always keeps a neat appearance, are signs to have your parent’s health evaluated.

4. They have extra bumps and bruises

While we’re all prone to clumsy moments, bruises on your aging parents could be a sign of poor balance. They could appear because your loved one is catching themselves from falling, bumping into things around their home or actually falling. 

Injuries from falls are the leading cause of death in seniors age 65 and older. Consider evaluating your parent’s health as soon as possible, if you’re worried they might be prone to falls.

5. They’re not taking care of their pet like they used to

If your aging parents are like most older adults in America, they love their pets unconditionally and like to spoil them. So when their dog has matted fur or the litter box looks like it hasn’t been changed in a while, it could be a sign your parent needs a little extra support.

At Aberdeen Ridge, we’re building private, pet-friendly senior apartments designed with comfort, care and personal choice in mind. Our experienced staff and proven programs will be there for your parents with the right support at the right time, so they can maintain an independent lifestyle with their furry family member by their side for as long as possible.

6. They aren’t maintaining social connections

The holiday season is a very social time of year. If you notice your family member isn’t maintaining social connections and spending more time at home away from their loved ones, it could be because of chronic pain, cognitive decline or mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

Senior living communities are a sensational place to spend the holidays. Your parents receive the personal care they need for a high-quality life, and they’ll have plenty of opportunities to fill their social calendars with special holiday activities and events. 

How to Talk to Your Parents About Evaluating Their Health

While the holiday season is an ideal time to look for health changes in your parents, it may not be the best time to talk about them. It’s best to set one-on-one time with your parents to discuss evaluating their health when the excitement of the holidays is over.

However, it’s very important you encourage your parents to schedule an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible. Talk to them about their long-term health goals, and do your best to explain how assisted living or memory care services can help them meet those goals. This will empower your parents to make their own decisions when it comes to senior care. 

Your Parents Can Thrive at Aberdeen Ridge

At our senior living community in Colorado Springs, CO, we offer personalized care plans and assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing, grooming, dressing and medication management. We take senior living a step further by providing educational, cultural, social and spiritual programs to match each one of our resident’s unique interests.

To learn how your mom or dad can thrive at Aberdeen Ridge with personalized care, contact us online or schedule a visit to our senior living community. We can’t wait to meet you!