Home for the Holidays: Identifying Changes in Your Loved One’s Health and Behavior

With the holiday season upon us, it’s a wonderful time of year to reconnect with family and friends— from honoring long-standing traditions to reminiscing old memories and making new ones. Yet some families may be faced with the difficult reality that their loved one’s health has changed over the course of the year and he or she may be struggling to live independently.

Changes that may have been difficult to detect over the phone or during brief visits may be more apparent when spending more time together during the holidays. But how do you know if these changes are signs of a bigger concern? The first step is being mindful of what to look for to determine whether your loved one may need more support.

The Trends & Acute Warning Signs
Although this time of year is bustling with excitement, some seniors, especially those with mild cognitive impairment, may become frustrated with the disruption to their schedules. Sometimes this can cause confusion and lead to anxiety. If they struggle to perform simple tasks they once could do with ease —or if they demonstrate more acute changes in their health or behavior—it may be time to consider the benefits of senior living.

As you visit with your senior loved ones this season, keep in mind the following indicators. While each person and situation is different, these are the most common signs that it may be time to consider senior living:

  • Changes in self-care, personal hygiene or weight
  • Mismanagement of medication
  • Decreased ability to perform simple daily living tasks of self-care, cooking and cleaning
  • Lack of upkeep of house or property
  • Signs of depression, including reduced interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Forgetfulness or mild cognitive impairment, such as difficulty remembering names of loved ones or cherished memories
  • Withdrawal from social interactions and/or difficulty following conversations
  • Changes in personality or behavior

Discovering the Benefits of Senior Living
If your family is considering senior living, the holidays can be a good time to explore new living alternatives. At Belmont, we offer numerous opportunities for seniors to engage with our communities through our special events, seminars and short-term visits. Each community is designed to first and foremost ensure the health and safety of our residents with services and care that help them continue to live as independently as possible, while also offering activities and social interaction that support a purposeful and engaged life.

“Senior living can be a great solution to so many different issues,” said Sheri Easton-Garrett, Sr. Vice President of Clinical Operations at Belmont Village. “It’s amazing to see the dramatic improvements in a person’s health once they no longer have to be responsible for the minute details of living, such as maintaining a home, preparing nutritious meals and managing medication.”

If you have observed changes in your loved one’s behavior and have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss, please contact us for additional information and resources. To learn more about preparing your loved one for a transition to a senior living community, read our 5 Tips for Making the Move to Senior Living.

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