For many of us in the United States, Thanksgiving is a time to come together as a family and celebrate and give thanks for what we have. And, for many of us, Thanksgiving is also a time when we may be visiting relatives at their home; which, if you’re traveling to parents or grandparents who you don’t see as much as you would like to, also makes it a good time to assess how they’re functioning living at home.
That doesn’t necessarily mean when you visit family or relatives to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and spend the majority of your time trying to discover problems. After all, Thanksgiving is a time to relax and celebrate family, but being home for the holidays can help you get a better idea of how they’re doing day-to-day. For instance, when you get to their house, how is it kept up? If it’s looking a little worse for the wear, that could be a sign that maybe they’re having a little trouble in handling basic ADLs. In that instance, pay attention to how they’re getting around the house physically.
Or, are there bills or food that have not been paid or put away? That could be a sign that maybe they’re beginning to have trouble with memory. In addition, ask casually how they’re driving is, as getting to and from doctor’s appointments and errands is vital in living independently.
For a more comprehensive list of what to look for, here’s a great resource from care.com.
As care.com puts it, try to avoid jumping to large conclusions if you do notice some of these signs, as the holidays are stressful for all of us. But, if you do notice any of these signs and think the problem may be bigger than just holiday stress, Care stresses to wait until after the holidays to have “the talk,” as there’s a time and a place for everything, and a holiday gathering with all your family may not be the best for either.
Finally, happy holidays to everyone celebrating, from your friends at Alliance Home Health Care.
As always, this is an informational blog, and not intended to replace the advice of a doctor or health professional.