Senior assisted living options at Larksfield Place of Wichita, KS.
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Holidays With Aging Loved Ones Can Be Surprising

During the holiday season, and as we joyfully gather with our aging family members, you may experience some unanticipated surprises. Most often, they are noticed by children who live at a distance or relatives who are unable to visit as frequently as they would like. It can be surprising how quickly things can change for someone. Maybe there is some forgetfulness growing, or perhaps they don’t get around as well as they used to. Noticing changes in your aging loved one is not unusual during the holiday season. Spending quality time with them, especially in their home, allows you to evaluate their physical, mental, and emotional health. It also allows you to spot anything else out of the ordinary that might support the need for a new environment. This is the perfect time of year to explore an Assisted Living Community.

Here are some things to watch for or you may notice during your Holiday visit.

  • Physical Changes: Mobility issues, getting in and out of chairs or to the toilet, poor diet or weight loss, and poor personal hygiene.
  • Cognitive Decline: Unkept house, clutter or laundry piling up, forgetting to take medications, unexplained dents or scratches on the car, unpaid bills, trouble keeping up with finances, and spoiled or expired groceries.
  • Emotional Well-being: Note extreme mood swings, increased social withdrawal, or signs of depression.

If you notice any of the items above, it is crucial to start those conversations about their future desires and care needs, no matter how difficult it may be. Ignoring these warning signs can put families in difficult situations when a crisis occurs. The holiday season may be the best time for you to talk to your family and senior loved ones about planning for the future, as this can provide peace of mind to all involved when the time comes.

It is important to tread carefully when starting these conversations. Typically, you need to look for the opportunity rather than just jumping in. Don’t try to take control. Try to get a natural conversation going and maintain respect for the parent-child relationship. Ensure the right tone is established in a comfortable environment by engaging in a normal tone and asking open-ended questions to begin the flow of conversation.

Our senior family members usually appreciate an honest conversation. If you discuss that it is important to communicate their wishes for retirement and end-of-life care, you will go further than if you are condescending or dishonest. Avoid putting them on the defensive by telling them what they need or what their plan should be. They should have some input for the rest of their lives as long as these things are addressed early enough with open dialogue to ensure the best planning.

Planning the best living environment for your aging loved ones is never easy. Many people wait too long and have to make decisions after a catastrophic health event. We never know if we are doing the right thing for our loved ones, as we have to make decisions sometimes without their input. Plan early and keep an open, honest dialogue so that there are no surprises for loved ones or family members.