Home for the Holidays?  Look for Signs Aging Parents May Need Help

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather and celebrate with friends, neighbors and family.  For adult children who live in a different city than Mom or Dad, coming home for the holidays is a great opportunity to observe changes in mood, behavior or wellness that may be of concern.

Following are signs, that may indicate Mom or Dad may be ready for assistance:

  • Inadequate meals, poor nutrition, or spoiled food or groceries past their expiration date
  • Weight loss, or decreased energy or physical fitness
  • Abnormally untidy house and clutter
  • Poor hygiene, soiled clothing and unkempt personal appearance
  • Unopened mail and past-due bills
  • Forgetting to take medication, taking the wrong doses, stockpiling medications with the possibility of mixing medicines by mistake with adverse results, or expired medications
  • Frequent memory lapses, confusion or forgetfulness, such as missing medical appointments
  • Increasingly unorganized or unable to problem solve
  • Lack of interest in activities, hobbies or things that were formerly enjoyed
  • Changes in mood
  • Frequent falls
  • Unsafe driving

If the points above are raising questions or concerns, they may signal that changes are needed, such as implementing additional help in the home or considering a move to a senior living community.

Assistance at home, through an in-home care service provider, helps seniors stay as independent as possible in the familiarity of their own surroundings. Assisted living provides the support of a residential setting for people who want to live independently among the company of others yet need some supportive services.  As the number of elderly adults has increased, so has the variety of living choices available to seniors.

Cerenity – Marian of Saint Paul, is a leading faith-based provider of senior care with more than 30 years of experience in the senior care industry. Located on the east side of St. Paul, the Cerenity Marian community offers a full continuum of care for seniors and adults where they can live well with fewer responsibilities and more possibilities.  Individuals can feel confident about the lifestyle they choose while having access to additional services should the need arise.

The Marian Residence offers both independent living and assisted living. The Marian Care Center offers long-term nursing care and skilled memory care with assisted living memory care opening in spring 2020. Therapy and rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech pathology, are also available on-site. Residents and their families have peace of mind knowing that they are receiving the right level of care at the right time, with a plan in place should their needs change over time.

 

When is it the right time to determine the need?

Aging parents, family members and a personal physician can work together as a team to determine normal aging versus a concerning decline or illness, and implement assistance as needed.

Selected services to help with the activities of daily living, meal services, medication assistance, health and wellness, and socialization, for example, can make the difference in Mom or Dad returning to a safe and satisfying lifestyle while reducing the worries of family members.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to talk with aging parents about the options available and the type of living environment that may be best for them later in life. You have a golden opportunity to make their transition, when needed, a positive experience by including your parents in discussions and helping them understand the choices available while listening to any concerns.

Too often, families wait to have such discussions until after a parent has had an unexpected medical or health issue, such as a fall or accident, and is no longer able to take care of themselves. The urgency at this time can cause increased stress and uncertainty when the clock is ticking and significant decisions have to be made quickly.

Considering a major life change, such as moving a parent from their home to a senior community, is an important decision. Individual preferences can vary, so taking time to do the research, asking good questions and understanding all of the options available can help make the process easier.  Contacting your local senior care provider is a great place to start in determining the best choice for you, your parents and your family.  Here’s to a happy new year for you and your loved ones.

For more information, call 651-495-1819 or visit www.cerenityseniorcare.org

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By Sharyl Kaase, Marketing Director, Cerenity Senior Care, Marian of Saint Paul

[email protected]   651-495-1819