Visiting Family This Holiday Season? Signs of Aging to Look Out For

‘Tis the season for visiting family in Simi Valley, CA, for the holidays. It’s an exciting time when everyone gets together, feasts until they’re stuffed, and catches up on all the events that have taken place over the last few months. For many people, the holidays are the only times the entire family can get together in person, so there’s a lot of getting reacquainted to do. In some cases, it’s also the perfect time to check on mom and dad or other aging loved ones and make sure they’re still healthy and happy. 

Searching for Signs that Aging Loved Ones Need Help

Many seniors are reluctant to admit they’re struggling. Some try to hide their difficulties whereas others don’t even fully realize their physical or mental health is declining. As such, they’re not going to readily admit to others that it may be time to start considering an assisted living community. That makes determining whether they can still take care of themselves much more difficult. Still, certain signs can be indications that your aging loved ones need help. 

Behavioral Changes

Noticeable behavioral changes are among the first warning signs of declining health. Aging loved ones may withdraw from friends and family members or lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. They may mention they’re having trouble sleeping or sleeping much more than usual. Your elderly loved ones may also be more irritable than normal or have a complete lack of motivation. All those can be symptoms of depression.

This and other mental disorders are becoming increasingly common among elderly people, especially if they’re living alone and have little contact with the outside world. Of course, those symptoms can also be indications that an aging loved one is suffering from the early stages of dementia. Other behavioral changes that come along with dementia may include forgetfulness, losing track of time, and unusual levels of anger or frustration. 

Lack of Concentration and Reduced Problem Solving Skills

Cognitive changes can also be warning signs that a loved one is having difficulties. Perhaps your aging family member can’t focus on a specific task or easily gets sidetracked. Maybe he or she seems to spend more time than usual searching for words or struggling to complete sentences. Your loved one may keep repeating the same thoughts or even have trouble recognizing everyone who’s come for the holiday gathering. You may notice that he or she is more confused than usual. All those are indications that your loved one may benefit from assisted living with memory care.

Physical Changes

Many of us have visited our aging family members after having not seen them for a while only to be taken aback by how much they seem to have aged. Some physical changes are to be expected, such as more gray hairs and wrinkles. Others are surefire signs of problems. Those can include extreme weight loss, unkempt hair, and wearing dirty clothes or clothing that’s not appropriate for the season.

You might notice indications that your loved one seems to be struggling with hygiene, such as dirty hair or body odor. Be sure to look for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns while visiting with aging loved ones as well. Those can be signs that they’re having trouble with coordination or difficulties preparing their own meals. 

Household Disarray

If your holiday visit takes you to an aging loved one’s home, look around for signs he or she may be neglecting household chores. The home may be dirty or more cluttered than it would’ve been years ago. There may be strange odors or stains on the carpet or furniture.

If possible, discreetly check the cabinets and refrigerator to be sure there’s fresh, healthy food in the house. Take notice of any spoiled food that may be lurking in the refrigerator. Signs of hoarding may come into play as well. Those indications that aging loved ones can no longer take care of themselves or their home could warrant assisted living in Simi Valley.

Making Sure Your Loved One Is Safe and Healthy

It’s never easy for elderly loved ones to admit to their families that they can no longer take care of themselves like they once did. It’s not easy to discover that the people who once took care of us are struggling just to carry out everyday tasks, either. Determining whether a loved one needs help is particularly difficult when you can’t be right there with him or her all the time. As you’re visiting with an aging loved one this holiday season, gauge him or her based on the warning signs we’ve mentioned to help determine if he or she needs assistance. 

Vista at Simi Valley is an assisted living community that’s dedicated to meeting the needs of our residents while offering them a warm, friendly atmosphere to call home. Our residents can enjoy numerous amenities and events as well as social activities. We also offer an array of services for residents, including healthcare, housekeeping and laundry, and transportation to name a few.