The holidays are a perfect time to visit older relatives and spend some time with them. However, during the visit, it’s also a great idea to make some assessments to ensure they are safe and in good health. Mary Cabral, Senior Care Counselor at Arbor Terrace Teaneck, recently spoke with Univision 41 Nueva York about visiting senior relatives during the holidays and what to look for.
The video (in Spanish) is below, as are the main takeaways from the interview (in English).
Look for age-related decline like weight loss or a change in mobility. Is your loved one limping or has fallen recently? Do they have safety bars in place and clear walkways in their house?
Be observant and look for signs that something is amiss. Are they usually tidy, but now their house is in disarray? Is laundry overflowing, or pans scorched? Also, check the expiration date on prescription and over-the-counter medication to ensure they take their medication as prescribed.
Have you noticed a change in their mood, behaviors, or routines? Due to the pandemic, elderly relatives or neighbors are isolated and it’s important to ensure they are staying active and engaged. Look for signs of depression or withdrawal.
It’s important to have a heart-to-heart if you notice signs of decline. Have a conversation with your loved ones and identify what areas they may need help with. Create a list of contacts that may be able to support them with light chores or just socializing. More serious concerns may require additional care or considering a move in a senior living home.