Things to Look for When Visiting a Senior Parent

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It can be difficult to tell how your senior parents are managing at home if you live at a distance from them. The holidays are the perfect time to reunite with family and friends, but it can also be the ideal time to check in on your parents and assess their home life. 

Woodland Ridge understands that talking to a senior parent about their living situation can be touchy. If you’re visiting your senior parent(s) this holiday season, you should take the time to look for signs or behaviors that may indicate that it is time to consider other living options. 

Mobility Changes and Assistance Needs

One of the first things you may notice while visiting your senior parent(s) is their mobility. As we age, our mobility may decrease, making it difficult for us to navigate our house or complete day-to-day tasks. 

While your loved one may prefer living at home, if you notice your senior parent is having trouble navigating the house or performing certain duties, it may be an indicator that it is time to consider alternative living options such as an assisted living community. 

Neglecting or Forgetting Chores

Especially during the holiday season, it can be easy to forget to do a chore or two as we get busy with planning and prepping. However, if you notice your senior parent’s house has multiple duties being looked over, it could be a sign that they are unable to complete these tasks, or they are unaware these tasks haven’t been handled. 

While visiting, take note of the chores that are being neglected. 

  • How is the overall appearance of your parent’s house?
  • Is there an abundance of dirty dishes in the kitchen?
  • Are there lightbulbs that need replacing throughout the house?

Answering these and similar questions may help determine whether or not your senior parent requires assistance with day-to-day activities.

Personal Hygiene and Grooming

While visiting your senior parent(s), be sure to take notice of their hygiene and grooming habits. Depending on the situation, this may indicate if your parent is having difficulty bathing or changing their clothing. If you noticed a decline in their grooming or significant weight loss or gain, it could be an indicator of an underlying issue that should be addressed.

Their Mood and Needs

While visiting your senior parent(s), be sure to pay attention to the way they are speaking or acting, as well as their temperament mood. Social isolation is a growing pain point in the senior community, especially if your senior parent lives alone. A recent study from the University of San Francisco found that over 40% of seniors feel lonely. 

If you think the senior in your life is demonstrating signs of depression, we encourage you to check out Woodland Ridge’s blog about overcoming the stigmas of depression to help you better approach this situation.

Changes in sleep habits, weight loss, loss of interest in hobbies, irritability or mood changes, and/or difficulty concentrating could be a possible indicator that your loved one is experiencing social isolation or feeling the effects of depression.

If you notice these or other signs that raise concerns, it may be time to discuss senior living options. Woodland Ridge in Smyrna, Georgia, offers several levels of senior care from assisted living and memory care options to short-term & respite care. If you would like to learn more about our community, we encourage you to contact one of our experts and schedule a visit.