The holiday season is truly the greatest time of the year. Whether you’re gathering in person or virtually this year, it’s a wonderful chance for the whole family to share holiday traditions, enjoy precious time together, and create lasting memories.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to catch up with your parents and check in on their mental and physical health. If a parent is living on their own, routinely evaluating how they’re managing is especially vital as they get older.
Learning about the warning signs and paying close attention when interacting with your senior family members is extremely important. The Mansions at Gwinnett Park, the county’s premier senior living community, shares that catching a health problem early on makes a tremendous difference for those you care about. It not only allows you to seek medical advice before their condition worsens, but it can also prevent possible future accidents.
Over the holidays, spend extra time with your parents to observe any mental or physical changes. Even if you’re just speaking to them on FaceTime or Zoom, you can still spot important red flags when it comes to their speech or appearance. Being able to recognize the difference between normal aging and more serious health problems is essential in identifying when it may be time to to see a doctor or get extra assistance.
Here are The Mansions at Gwinnett Park’s four warning signs to look out for this holiday season:
Memory loss or trouble speaking
When engaging with your senior family members this holiday season, look out for a pattern of forgetfulness. This form of memory loss is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Is grandma forgetting her grandchild’s name? Or is grandpa repeating himself during a conversation? Often, when a senior forgets a word or familiar name, they are able to recall it later.
Decreased ability in making good judgment or decisions
A decreased ability in making proper judgments or decisions can be observed through your relative’s physical appearance. Does mom look malnourished or unkempt? Keep an eye out for other common cues, such as engaging in risky investments or making other out-of-character choices. As we age, it’s normal to make occasional errors, but when this becomes a frequent pattern, it’s time to take things more seriously.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks
If your loved one is having trouble completed familiar everyday tasks, this is another red flag. Did grandpa mistake the cordless phone for a television remote? Of course, seniors may sometimes need assistance with electronics, but they should be able to comprehend an object’s specific use.
Changes in mood or behavior
An abnormal change in a senior’s mood or behavior is another warning sign. It’s not unusual for seniors to have a negative reaction when their daily routine is disrupted. But if dad repeatedly claims someone stole his glasses, but he’s wearing them, then his behavior is certainly a cause for concern.
Find a complete list of warning signs and symptoms at http://www.alz.org. Have questions or concerns about a love done? You may contact Peppur Lewis, RN and Executive Director of The Mansions at Gwinnett Park by calling (470) 394-1800. You can also visit their website at http://www.TheMansionsatGwinnettPark.com. The senior independent living community is located at 2400 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30043.