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Home for the Holidays: Signs a Loved One May Need Additional Support

December 15, 2022

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The holiday season is a special time of year when we strive to spend extra time with friends and family. With this being said, more travel is often involved, allowing us to see loved ones we may not have seen since last year’s celebrations.

Between all the holiday gatherings and traditions, make sure you use the opportunity of visiting your parent or older loved one’s home to ensure they are still living safely on their own.

With assisted living communities in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, our team at Franciscan Ministries understands the value of a supportive and maintenance-free lifestyle. To help you know what to look for in your loved one’s home during your holiday visit, we are sharing which signs could signal it might be time for additional care.

Pay Attention to the Home Details

It is common (and understandable) for our homes to get a little messy during the holiday season. The constant “go, go, go” this time of year often leaves cleaning our house on the to-do list. However, be mindful of the type of clutter that might be in the home. The minor home maintenance details can add up and signal the need for additional care or support. During your visit, look for things like:

  • More clutter than usual
  • Burnout or missing lightbulbs
  • Overgrown or unmaintained landscaping/walkways
  • Unopened mail piling up on the counter

Download our free Home Safety Checklist to discover easy ways to modify your loved one’s home to make it safer, more comfortable and easier for them to navigate.

Changes to Their Appearance

We all like to switch things up once in a while, like the cut of our hair, but the changes we are referring to are on a more basic personal care scale. When you are trying to gauge whether or not your parent or family member needs assisted living care, pay attention to these types of details:

  • Does their hair look like it is washed and brushed regularly?
  • Are they wearing clean clothing that is weather and occasion appropriate?
  • Do you notice any unexplained bruises or injuries?
  • Is your loved one showing significant weight gain or loss?

If you notice your loved one has experienced a significant change in weight, this could be a sign they have an underlying medical condition, are having difficulty preparing healthy meals for themselves, or something else entirely.

Notice Their Behaviors and Actions

During your holiday visit, pay attention to how your parent or family member is acting and look for changes in their personality and behavior. Even though living alone is what many of us correlate to maintaining independence, it can also be limiting when it comes to presenting socialization opportunities.

Feelings of loneliness and isolation are common in those who live alone and can lead to “a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, [and] Alzheimer’s disease,” (National Institute on Aging).

The good news is that assisted living communities offer a solution. By encouraging independence while providing care and assistance with the activities of daily living, residents have more free time to pursue their interests and hobbies.

Each of our assisted living communities treats residents like family, personalizing their care to their unique needs, lifestyle, and passions. If your loved one requires help with their daily routine, our team will assist with activities like dressing and bathing. If they enjoy exercise, gardening or another hobby, we offer activities and amenities to align with their interests.

Franciscan Communities’ assisted living services are built around the seven dimensions of wellness to help all residents discover more purpose and meaning in their lives.

Your visit this holiday season presents the perfect opportunity for you to reassess your parent or loved one’s living situation and care needs. If you are noticing any of the signs that we mentioned, take some time and have a discussion with your family member to discuss assisted living options.

To learn more about what our Franciscan Communities offer, visit our website or contact a member of our team.