Now that the holiday season is upon us, it means that ample family time is around the corner. Making precious memories, wrapping presents, and participating in other beloved holiday traditions are all on the agenda for you and your family. That being said, if your senior loved one is a part of these traditions, the holidays can be a vital time to check in on their physical and mental well being. This is especially true if you only get to see your senior family member once or twice a year, specifically around the holiday season.
Take this one on one time as an opportunity to check in on your senior’s needs. Today, our senior assisted living facilities in Macomb want to take the time to outline some key warning signs that your senior could use a little more help completing their daily living tasks. Knowing these can make a world of difference in their health – after all, the best gift you can give your senior this holiday is your love, time, and attention.
Sign #1: Changes in weight.
Right away, one of the first warning signs that you can spot is any dramatic changes in their weight. This can be significant weight gain or significant weight loss. If you notice this, the next step that you should do is investigate to rule out medications. Various medications can cause either weight gain or weight loss, so this could be a determining factor. However, it could be a sign that your senior isn’t able to properly care for themselves and their dietary needs. Maintaining proper nutrition and eating a balanced diet is vital to senior health, and if this isn’t something they are able to do on their own any more, it may be time to seek additional, professional help for your senior.
Sign #2: Balance issues and fall risks.
If your senior is staying with you over the holidays, be mindful of their behavior and keep an eye out for any balance issues or fall risks. For example, does your senior loved one avoid using the stairs in your home if you have any? Do they struggle getting around various parts of the house? What about their skin, do you notice any observable bruising or injuries? These could all be signs that they are having mobility issues. If so, odds are good that they are worried about bringing it up and mentioning it to someone. However, fall risks are the number one cause of accidental death among older adults in the United States. If you are concerned about your loved one’s mobility, it is worth bringing up and discussing sooner rather than later.
Sign #3: Changes in self care or hygiene routine.
Another major physical symptom that you should be aware of is if your senior is struggling to keep up with their self care and hygiene routine. This could include not bathing or showering regularly, going days without combing their hair or brushing their teeth, or wearing the same clothes for several days in a row. These are major red flags that point to self neglect and can cause your senior’s health to rapidly decline. Should you notice these behaviors, it might mean that it’s time to seek help from professionals, such as those at the assisted living facilities in Macomb.
Sign #4: Frequent forgetfulness and confusion.
Being able to identify the early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s is extremely important for ensuring your senior’s overall safety and wellness. While the occasional forgetfulness can happen to just about anyone, it is important to remain vigilant regarding your older loved one’s mental wellness.
Take note of a few things by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do they often repeat themselves in a very short period of time?
- Are they asking the same questions over and over, such as ‘how was your day?’ without remembering your answer?
- Do they frequently mix up or even forget the names of their friends and loved ones?
- Are they failing to remember to take their medications on time, if at all?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it might be time to look into specialized care. Once the holidays are over, help them to schedule an appointment with their doctor to get this looked at and to inquire about dementia screening.
Sign #5: Major shifts in mood and demeanor.
The holiday season usually brings about a festive, cheerful atmosphere that promotes family time and making memories. However, if your senior loved one seems noticeably down or detached during festivities, don’t let this behavior slip by. For seniors who have recently lost a significant other or spouse, this is doubly true. Senior loneliness and isolation is a major concern and can lead to significant health issues down the road.
To start, try initiating a healthy, honest conversation with them about their feelings or any depression or loneliness they might be experiencing. Moving to the assisted living facilities in Macomb might do wonders for these feelings, as they can be around others their own age and socialize and hang out together. If they aren’t open and receptive to the idea at first, that’s okay! Pushing the topic can make things worse, so give them the chance to think on it before broaching the idea again. After all, moving into a senior living community is not a decision that one makes lightly. Practice patience and understanding whenever you can!
Assisted Living Facilities in Macomb
Once the holidays have drawn to a close and your senior has decided to start taking a look at different senior living options, make sure to add Oakleigh of Macomb to your list of communities to tour. Here at our assisted living facilities in Macomb, we are proud to offer our residents a wide range of amazing amenities as well as a team of caring and highly trained staff members. Whether you are in need of assisted living or memory care, our community has you covered. To learn more about Oakleigh or to schedule a time to take a tour, contact us today!