Traveling home for the holidays is a great time to see family and old friends and enjoy each other’s company during the festive holiday season. It also presents an opportunity for adult children to check in on their aging parents. This holiday season, Palladium is encouraging adult children to check on their parents to see how they are really faring on their own while watching for any indicators that they may need extra support.

Often, adult children will return home for the holidays and realize their elderly parents are not doing as well as they have been led to believe. For children who live far away or aren’t able to visit regularly, this can be an alarming realization. Over the phone, their parents have reassured them time and time again that they are doing just fine. In most cases aging parents don’t want to be a burden to their adult children who have children and responsibilities of their own. Another reason for misleading reassurances is that older parents often find it difficult to admit that their mobility and capabilities may be declining.

This is why going home for the holidays is a good time for a reality check to discover how your parents are really doing. It may be distressing to realize that your parents are more fragile, less mobile, and weaker than they have led you to believe. Here are some things to look for that can be good indicators that your loved one may need extra support.

Scrutinize your loved one’s appearance. Are they well groomed, and generally clean? Are their clothes clean and weather appropriate? Is hair washed, neat, and combed? Any evidence of personal neglect could be a warning sign of dementia or issues with their ability to care for themselves. Also, keep an eye out for any unexplained and noticeable bruising, as this could be an indicator of balance and mobility problems.

Examine the overall state of the house and the yard. Any signs of neglect, including spoiled food, piled up mail, rust or mold, and just a general uncleanliness could mean that your parents are unable to complete basic household tasks.

Pay attention to how your loved one is acting. Are there any signs of cognitive impairment? Some indicators of this could be consistent memory lapses, rapid mood swings, the inability to continue a conversation, or seeming depressed. Any of these behavioral changes could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

Watch your loved one move around the house. Are you noticing a marked weakness, loss of stamina or strength? Do they seem unstable or need support when they walk? Any of these can be signs of declining health.

Ask your parents about appointments and medications. Confirm if they’ve been making all their doctor’s appointments, and make sure they’ve been taking and refilling any prescriptions.

Sometimes a holiday reality check can be an alarming wake-up call, as you realize that your parents are not doing as well as they have claimed and may need some additional help. Ultimately though, it can be beneficial to realize this, so that you can get your elderly loved ones the proper care that they need.

If you do decide that your loved one may need an extra layer of care, Palladium Hospice and Palliative Care can provide that care wherever home may be. Our supportive services bring an extra layer of care and support to individuals living with illness. We focus on relief of the symptoms and stresses, helping regain quality of life.

This holiday season, we encourage you to perform a holiday reality check on your aging loved ones to ensure they are living safely and comfortably, and if not, to determine a comprehensive and beneficial plan of action for everyone. Because during the holidays, you should be focusing on what matters most.

If you would like to learn if Palladium Care is right for you or a loved one, call our supportive team at 888.502.4646; we’re here to answer any questions you may have.