Going home for the holidays is more than just a chance for you to spend quality time with family members; it also presents an opportunity to check in on your parent or aging relative, ensuring they are still living comfortably and safely in their home.
To help you make the most of your holiday visit this year, our team at Uplands Village is sharing what to look for in your loved one’s home and which signs could mean it’s time to explore assisted living options.
Pay Attention to Home Details
You know your parent well, and understandably, our homes might look a little different during the holidays. For example, decoration boxes, wrapping supplies, and baking ingredients may litter our space. However, you should have a certain picture in mind of what your loved one’s home typically looks like over the holidays.
For example, perhaps Mom or Dad normally goes all out with holiday lights and decorations, but this year they decided to keep the décor simple. Was this intentional, or were they unable to decorate this year due to mobility or safety issues?
Additionally, be mindful of the exterior of the home. For example, is the lawn being mowed and maintained, or is the driveway and/or walkway shoveled and clear of snow?
Other areas to pay attention to when visiting include:
- Overall condition of the home (light bulbs out, broken appliances or items, etc.)
- Food and pantry items (expired items, bare shelves, etc.)
- Unopened mail piling up on the counter
It is these smaller details that can add up to signal your parent needs or could benefit from additional care and support in their daily life, like the assisted living options we offer at Uplands Village.
Are They Taking Care of Themselves?
Bathing, dressing, and grooming are considered activities of daily living (ADLs) or tasks that need to be completed every day in order for a person to lead a safe, healthy, independent lifestyle.
If you notice changes in your loved one’s appearance, it could signify that they are having difficulty completing these ADLs and could benefit from assisted living options and support.
Examples of this could include:
- Does your loved one’s hair look washed and brushed?
- Are they wearing clean clothing that is weather appropriate?
- Have you noticed a significant change in weight?
- Overall, does your parent or family member look like they are taking good care of themselves?
Assisted living communities are designed to support individuals with ADLs, such as bathing and grooming, so they can lead safer, healthier lives.
It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts
While your parent or family member’s home and physical appearance can tell you a lot, so can their personality and behavior. Living alone is what many of us associate with independence, but this lifestyle option also comes with restrictions, like limited socialization opportunities, especially as we age.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation are common in those who live alone and can lead to “a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, [and] Alzheimer’s disease,” (National Institute on Aging). During your visit this holiday season, pay close attention to any personality or behavioral changes in your parent or family member.
- Do they appear withdrawn from conversation?
- When was their last visitor? How long ago was that?
- Are they staying connected with friends, neighbors, and other family members?
The good news is that assisted living options offer a balance of independence and community. Through socialization opportunities and community amenities and activities, residents in an assisted living community are encouraged to maintain their independence while receiving the right amount of personalized support.
Your visit this holiday season is the perfect time for you to observe and reassess your parent or family member’s needs. If you notice any of the concerns we mentioned, it may be time to consider the assisted living options available to you and your family.
Our team at Uplands Village is here to help you through each step of your journey. To learn more about our Life Plan Community in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, visit our website or contact us today.