Red Flags to Look for on a Holiday Visit With a Senior Loved One

santa holding a red flag.

Adult children typically want to make sure a parent is happy and healthy as they grow older. While that’s a common goal, it can be difficult to know what a senior loved one actually needs. If you aren’t very familiar with senior care solutions, trying to decide on the best alternative might feel a bit overwhelming.

Some seniors might be safe and happy with an in-home caregiver. That assures they have support with daily household tasks and personal care. Other older adults might require more assistance, or care at intermittent times, making an assisted living community a better option.

One factor to keep in mind is that an aging parent might be too proud to ask for help or even admit they need it if you broach the subject. It’s generally a good idea to discuss future goals with a parent before they actually need care. In many families, however, it’s a discussion that doesn’t occur until a crisis happens. That’s a tough time to make such life-changing decisions.

If you are wondering if it’s time to talk about care needs with an aging parent, here are some red flags to look for on your visits.

Does a Parent Need Senior Care Assistance?

Sometimes there are major red flags that a parent needs help, such as frequent falls or poor nutrition that leads to significant weight loss. But there are almost always subtle signs, too, that an aging parent is struggling to maintain their independence or their health is beginning to decline.

A parent who is having a tough time with personal care or is fearful of falling might look a little less tidy than you are used to seeing. Look for warning signs in their appearance, such as:

  • Disheveled or dirty clothing
  • Hair that is dirty, messy, or in need of a cut
  • Clothing inappropriate for the season
  • Body odor
  • Unexplained bruises or scratches
  • Unintentional weight loss or gain

Another red flag is the senior not taking their medication appropriately. Compare the number of pills left in bottles with the date and dosage on the label.

The senior’s home can also tell a story. Take a walk around their house and yard to look for:

  • Odors caused by trash that needs emptying or general lack of cleanliness
  • Neglected maintenance tasks, such as burned-out light bulbs or a leaky faucet
  • Expired foods in the refrigerator and pantry
  • Overgrown grass or weeds during warm months and sidewalks piled with snow during the winter
  • Unopened mail on the counter or in the mailbox
  • Past-due notices around the house or calls from creditors

If you find more than one or two of the concerns listed above when you visit your parent, it’s probably time to talk with them about getting some help. While it’s usually not a conversation adult children are excited to have, doing so is important for protecting a parent’s health and well-being.

Invest in an Emergency Call Alert

It’s vital to have a system in place that allows your parent to call for help in the event of an emergency. One that works on wireless technology is usually best. This mobile monitoring unit is a device to consider. It will allow a user to summon help with just a simple press of a button. Call 1-844-203-5617 to learn more today!