Christmas and the New Year are those major family occasions where you may be spending more time with your elderly parents and relatives. This year is quite different with in-person visits discouraged and stay-at-home pleas from government officials to help curb the spread of COVID-19, especially as we head into the winter season.
If you are in contact with older adults these days, whether virtually or in-person, pay close attention to how they are doing and what they could be revealing to you. There are subtle signs to watch for that could indicate a possible decline in their abilities:
- Withdrawing from normal activities – When a person is no longer showing interest in hobbies or tasks such as housecleaning and paying bills on time.
- Unsteady on their feet and overall slowing down – A loved one’s movements are becoming delayed, which is unlike their usual pace, and they admit to falling at home.
- Appetite and weight loss – For someone who once loved to cook and eat, little to no appetite and a visual weight loss are concerns that should be addressed.
- Sleep – A change in routine where someone is sleeping more during the day and awake at night.
Investigate by asking questions of your loved one to possibly learn why this may be happening. If this does not generate much of a response or lead to any significant conclusions, a doctor’s visit is the next recommended step.
Discussing these issues is never an easy task for children of elderly parents. If you find yourself in this situation, consider the guidelines from a blog we posted this time last year, Approaching Difficult Conversations with Mom and Dad. And know that the team here at Castle Senior Living is always open to provide insight and resources if you have questions or concerns.