You expected the turkey leftovers, endless dirty plates, messy house, endless laughter, and talks of who is hosting the next holiday. What you didn’t expect – how hard it was for Mom to hear and participate in the conversation. What surprised you was how much weight Dad has lost or that he had a hard time remembering stories he’s told many times over. Maybe it wasn’t any of those things, just something in your gut that signaled something was off.
While holidays are a great time for loved ones to gather, as our loved ones age, it’s also the time when family members notice warning signs that those who see them every day overlook. The realization that your loved ones are in fact aging settles in. The good news? There’s something you can do about it right now to get proactive and help them maintain their independence. Often we’ve heard from our clients that they didn’t tell their adult children that certain things were bothering them like vision or mood changes, a nagging cough or a few minor falls here or there because they didn’t want to worry them. But these were the warning signs that had they been addressed early would have avoided a costly health crisis down the road. Think of it this way – you see the engine light pop on in your car. What do you do? Keep driving around hoping it will go away (okay some of us do in fact do this)? Had you addressed the smaller engine issue early on, you wouldn’t be looking at a major car repair now.
We aren’t comparing your dad to car repairs but I think you get what we are trying to convey – proactive guidance is the key when it comes to making sure your loved ones live healthier, more independent lives. Isn’t that what we all want? As you gather around the table this holiday season – pay attention to the warning signs – we’ve identified 8 of them for you, and consider addressing them early on. And if you need help broaching those tough subjects, we can help with that, too.
In the meantime, call us anytime, 24/7, and our Navigation team can help answer any of your concerns, questions or thoughts on local resources and options to support seniors as they age and continue to live sparked lives.