The holiday season is something that most of us look forward to—spending time with family and friends, savoring good food, reminiscing on old memories, and creating new ones. For many adult children, going home for the holidays means reconnecting with aging parents or other older family members.
In some cases, the last time they may have seen their parents was the previous holiday season, so visiting presents an opportunity for a “holiday check-in.” Sometimes these visits can bring about the realization that it may be time to consider senior care options.
At Franklin Park Senior Living, we know the holiday season may look different this year. With travel restrictions and health concerns, you may not be able to visit family in-person. However, it’s still important to “check-in” with parents, grandparents, and older loved ones—even virtually.
We proudly offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities throughout San Antonio, Texas. As you visit or virtually check-in with family this holiday, we want to share some signs that may indicate your family member could need additional support.
Look Around the House
Looking around at the state of your parent’s home and yard can often give you a good idea of how they are doing. Regular home maintenance and upkeep are considered Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, so apparent signs of neglect and disregard could indicate that your parent is unable to maintain their house independently.
Household Warning Signs to Look For:
- Is the yard and exterior of the house neglected? (Windows cracked or broken, yard not mowed, etc.)
- Are mail and bills piled in the mailbox or on a table inside?
- Is there spoiled food in the fridge?
- Does the house seem generally cluttered, unkempt, or have an odor?
- Have essential items and appliances such as lightbulbs or smoke alarms broken and or in disrepair?
For those who cannot visit family this year, make sure you are asking your parent or loved one specific questions regarding their day-to-day activities. If possible, to further alleviate concerns, reach out to a neighbor or friend who can safely visit your parent(s) and assess the above items.
Examine Your Parent’s Physical Appearance
In addition to instrumental activities of daily living, it’s crucial to ensure that your parent or family member can complete basic activities of daily living (ADLs). These necessary acts include bathing, grooming, and dressing properly. While you’re visiting for the holidays, examine how your aging parent looks.
Indicators That Your Parent May Need Additional Senior Care:
- Are they wearing old, tattered, or dirty clothes?
- Are they lacking basic hygiene, or looking unkempt?
- Has there been a noticeable weight loss?
- Do they have unexplained bruising or scrapes?
- Do they have declined mobility and spend the majority of their time seated or lying down?
While it’s not the same as being in-person, setting up a video chat with your family member can give you the chance to see them and address any of the above concerns.
Observe Your Parent’s Demeanor and Behavior
Even if the overall appearance of your loved one seems healthy, it’s important to note how they act, as well. Changes in behavior and personality can often be an indicator of dementia or another mental health impairment. Pay attention to how they behave, interact with others, and their general state of mind.
Warning Signs* To Consider Regarding Mental Status:
- Are they frequently confused, or experiencing lapses in memory?
- Do they consistently misplace commonly used items, like the remote or keys?
- Are they acting differently towards close family members and friends?
- Do they seem less interested in holiday activities that would usually excite them?
- Do they seem easily agitated or upset?
*These types of signs and questions should be kept in mind as you talk with your parent or older loved one throughout the year.
These are just a few things to observe that may indicate your family member could benefit from an extra layer of support. For a more detailed and helpful guide, we encourage you to download our holiday home safety checklist.
Realizing that your parent or family member may not be faring as well as you thought can be overwhelming, especially during the holiday season. Fortunately, once you are aware that your loved one could benefit from senior care, you can take the necessary steps to ensure they get the proper care and attention.
With all the various levels of care, community options, and more, choosing the right care for your family is a significant decision. Franklin Park is here to help. Our senior care communities offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care services throughout the San Antonio, Texas, area. Each of our communities provides dedicated and compassionate care in a resort-style setting, ensuring that our residents are comfortable, supported, and gratified.
We want to make the transition as simple and reassuring as possible—guaranteeing that you have peace of mind knowing your family member is living the best quality of life possible.
To speak to a member of our care team about whether Franklin Park Senior Living is right for you and your family, we invite you to contact us. We’re happy to help and answer any questions you may have.
We wish you health and happiness—Happy Holidays from all of us at Franklin Park!